Leaders of political groups advocating "independence" taken to court: police

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-30 19:23:38|Editor: huaxia
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Tse Chun-chung (2nd R), chief superintendent of the Hong Kong police public relations branch, gives a briefing during a press conference in south China's Hong Kong, Aug. 30, 2019. The Hong Kong police said at the press conference Friday that multiple arrests were made recently with suspects involved in violent criminal acts. (Xinhua/Lu Hanxin)

HONG KONG, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong police have confirmed that Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Agnes Chow Ting, leaders of Demosisto advocating "Hong Kong's independence," were taken to court Friday.

Tse Chun-chung, chief superintendent of police public relations branch, said that at a daily press conference Friday.

Wong was arrested on Friday morning on charges of "inciting others to participate in unauthorized gatherings," "organizing unauthorized gatherings" and "knowingly participating in unauthorized gatherings."

Chow was arrested on charges of "inciting others to participate in unauthorized gatherings" and "knowingly participating in unauthorized gatherings."

According to the press conference, the police also on Thursday evening detained Andy Chan Ho-tin on charges of rioting and assaulting a police officer. Chan was the leader of Hong Kong National Party, a political group that has been announced illegal by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government.

Tse said the police have been investigating offenses in protests over the past two months and have made seven new arrests since Thursday evening, with suspects involved in the besiegement of the Hong Kong Legislative Council and Police headquarters, or other violent incidents.

"We take a zero-tolerance approach to all violent incidents and all arrests were made based on enough evidence," Tse said.

As violence has intensified, the police have become one of the targets of violent demonstrators as 20 police stations and 131 police vehicles have been damaged by them to varied extent as far, Tse said.

With a large proportion of forces deployed to handle violent incidents, Hong Kong police were short of officers to respond to regular emergency calls.

Tse said 324, 220, 180 cases in August, July and June respectively, although still a small share of all, exceeded the response time limit as promised by Hong Kong police, which are nine minutes in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, and 15 minutes in New Territories.

The cases with longer response time were mainly on weekends, Tse added.

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