HONG KONG – Hong Kong police arrested 16 people, including two opposition lawmakers, on Wednesday on charges related to anti-government protests last year.
The arrests of pro-democracy legislators Ted Hui and Lam Cheuk-ting were announced via social media posts.
A post on Hui’s Facebook page said he was arrested on charges of perverting the course of justice, accessing a computer with criminal and dishonest intent, and criminal damage in relation to a protest in July last year. He conveyed a message via his lawyer that he had only been at the scene to mediate.
Posts on Lam's Twitter account said he had been arrested on charges of conspiring with others to damage property and obstructing justice during the same protest on July 6, 2019. The tweets said he was also accused of rioting on July 21, 2019.
That was the day a group of more than 100 men clad in white attacked protesters and passengers with steel rods and rattan canes in a subway station. Lam, who was present, was injured during the attack and hospitalized.
Protesters and many from the opposition camp have accused the police of colluding with the attackers, since they arrived late at the scene and did not make arrests that night.
Police said at a news conference on Wednesday that the July 21 incident was not an “indiscriminate attack” by the men in white, and accused media of one-sided coverage. Senior superintendent of police Chan Tin-chu denied accusations of collusion and said Lam contributed to the escalating events by live-streaming the incident.
The pro-democracy camp criticized the statements by police and accused them of trying to change the narrative of what actually happened.