With the onset of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, fewer people are taking to the streets in Hong Kong – but for prosecuted protesters, the work is just getting started. By the end of January 2020, over 7,000 people had been arrested in connection with the protests, about 1,000 charged, and 20 sentenced. Common charges are criminal damage, possession of an offensive weapon, assaulting the police, obstructing the police, participating in an unlawful assembly, and participating in a riot.
"Of all the defendants who appeared on Wednesday, the majority will probably go free," says Vickie Lui, one of Hong Kong's lawyers who provide free assistance to arrested protesters. Lui, who works for the Progressive Lawyers Group, has joined a central office from which the legal assistance for detainees is directed. During the protests you see many young people with the telephone number of that hotline on their arm.
Hong Kong Police arrested two teens for protesting and pepper-sprayed a 73-year-old "Protect the Children" group member.
In the event of a police search or arrest, knowing your rights and doing the smart thing can be the difference between walking free and getting into serious legal trouble.
Unrelenting months-long protests finally pushed Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Wednesday to withdraw a proposed amendment which would have legalized extradition of suspects to mainland China.
Police in Hong Kong have arrested at least three young leaders, including one of the city’s most prominent democratic activists, a day before a weekend of new protests are expected to begin.
The protests that have convulsed this city for nearly three months have lacked any clear leadership in a bid to sustain momentum should any of their organizers be threatened with jail.
Hong Kong police deployed water cannons for the first time Sunday in a show of force as pro-democracy protests turned violent following nearly two weeks of relative calm.
The police force insists that the arrest of a university student leader for possession of offensive weapons after he was found carrying laser pointers was justified, but some legal professionals think otherwise.