Hong Kong Police Cite Call to Boycott Covid App in Security Case

Hong Kong police arrested three student pro-democracy activists under the city’s national security law, citing their calls to boycott the government’s pandemic contact tracing app as evidence of state subversion.

National security police Monday morning arrested Student Politicism’s convener, Wong Yat-chin, and secretary general, Chan Chi-sum, the group confirmed on its Facebook page. Former spokesperson Jessica Chu was also arrested, local media outlet i-Cable reported

“At the beginning of the pandemic, they told people not to use the LeaveHomeSafe app, and only provide false information if you opt to fill in the paper form, causing destruction to the system,” said Steve Li Kwai-wah, of the police’s National Security Department, at an afternoon press conference. He confirmed three people, between ages 18 and 20, had been arrested on conspiracy to incite subversion under the law, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. 

The vague wording of the legislation imposed on the city by Beijing last June has left people second-guessing the city’s red lines for opposing the government. The authorities promised the law would only target an “extremely small minority.” At least 155 people, including journalists, activists, and opposition lawmakers, have been arrested under the sweeping legislation.

Li added that the students had also said “liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” was not just a slogan, but a belief of the nation, and “suggested people practice martial arts” to prepare for a revolution against China’s ruling Communist Party.

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