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Families of 12 detained activists approach Hong Kong police, to push for contact with loved ones

ANI | Updated: Sep 20, 2020 23:16 IST

Hong Kong, September 20 (ANI): The family members of 12 Hong Kong human rights activists captured at sea last month by the Chinese authorities reported the case to Hong Kong police on Sunday, urging the force to speak to their mainland counterparts for the release of marine data from that day, reported the South China Morning Post.
The families said that the officials need to get in touch directly with the 12 "as many questions remain unanswered" including the reason the mainland (Chinese authorities) refused to allow family-appointed lawyers to meet with the captured at the detention centre in Shenzhen's Yantian district.
The 12 -- who were attempting to flee to Taiwan -- were linked to the protest cases last year. One of the protests, Andy Li was arrested by the police under the draconian law passed by the Chinese Communist Party.
"Up till now, the lawyers appointed by the families have not been allowed to meet with the detainees. In other words, the conditions of the arrested persons are still known only to the Chinese authorities," said a statement from the families read by activist Owen Chow Ka-shing, who has been assisting them.
"The Hong Kong government has only used official information from China, becoming a willing mouthpiece of the Chinese government, and has never provided any details or sent anyone there to clarify the doubts."

According to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong security minister John Lee Ka-chiu told a local broadcaster that the 12 Hong Kongers had appointed lawyers from a list "approved by the mainland authorities". He also said that the detained Hong Kongers were in good health "even though no local officials visited them".
South China Morning Post also reported that the families had urged the Hong Kong government to meet with the detainees or at least speak to them telephonically.
The Chinese foreign ministry in a statement had confirmed that the group comprised 11 men and a woman, aged 16 to 33 have been detained while they were trying to escape China.
Since the enactment of draconian law, several pro-democracy activists have been fleeing for a safe haven to other countries.
Beijing had imposed the National Security Law in Hong Kong in June targeting acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments of up to life in prison for the most serious offences.
The move came after months of social upheaval triggered by opposition to a now-withdrawn extradition bill but that morphed into wider demands, including universal suffrage.
The legislation, which came into effect on July 1, punishes what Beijing terms secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference with punishment ranging up to a life-term in prison. (ANI)