Amnesty International posted the following story in regards to the arrest of over 500 protesters in Hong Kong last week:

According to organizers, over 510,000 people took part in the 1 July protest march marking the 17th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China.

The previous day, student groups – the Hong Kong Federation of Students and Scholarism – who are both calling for “genuine universal suffrage” invited participants to join a sit-in after the march on Chater Road and in front of the Chief Executive Office in Central, Hong Kong’s business district. The protesters publicly announced both assemblies would end at 8 a.m. However, the police started to forcibly remove protesters from Chater Road at approximately 3 a.m.

In the early morning of 2 July, police arrested 511 people, mostly students, who took part in the sit-in at Chater Road. At 8am, the remaining approximately 50 protesters, left according to plan. Some of the 511 detained have complained that they were not provided with food and water and were not given access to legal representation for several hours during detention at the Hong Kong Police College in Wong Chuk Hang.

While the 511 have now all been released, twenty-five protesters who took part in the sit-in, most of them students, remain under investigation for “illegal assembly”, “organizing and assisting in an illegal assembly” and “obstruction in a public place”. These twenty-five were released on bail on 2 July but they are required to report to the police in late July and early August. They are at risk of having formal charges brought against them.

In the morning of 4 July, five members of Civil Human Rights Front, who organized the 1 July march were also arrested for investigation of delays during the march, mainly due to a slow-moving lead vehicle. It is uncertain whether the police will arrest more people for taking part in the protests.

Please sign a petition to Mr. Rimsky Yuen, SC, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Justice to demand the Hong Kong government to stop pursuing the charges against the peaceful protesters.

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