Students have played an essential role in the fight against China’s oppressive laws in Hong Kong

Four student leaders from the University of Hong Kong were arrested.

The police say that the students were arrested for “advocating terrorism” on Wednesday.

Senior superintendent Steve Li from the city’s national security police unit told reporters, “Four men aged between 18 and 20 were arrested today, they are members of the student union and the student union council.”

According to him, a controversial student union statement and an attack on a police officer last month have led to the arrest. 

On July 1, a man stabbed and wounded a police officer in a busy shopping district before taking his own life. Authorities have called this an act of “domestic terrorism”.

Shortly afterward, the University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) student union released a statement expressing “deep sadness” over the attacker’s death and appreciation for his “sacrifice”.

The statement proved hugely controversial. The union later retracted the statement and apologized for its wording.

“It beautified, rationalized, glorified terrorism and an indiscriminate attack and encouraged suicidal acts,” Li told reporters on Wednesday.

HKU’s management also banned the union’s council members from campus.

Last month, police raided the union’s offices, campus TV station, and undergraduate office.

Advocating terrorism carries up to 10 years in jail and is covered by Hong Kong’s national security law.

The law was imposed on the city last year by Beijing in response to huge and often violent democracy protests two years ago.

It has quickly criminalized dissent. 

More than 130 people, including many democracy advocates, have been arrested under the law.

Pro-Beijing media singled out the group as a “fundraising platform for rioters” saying it must be “eliminated”.


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