Student arrests in Hong Kong deepen ‘white terror’ fears

HONG KONG (HRNW) – Hong Kong has fallen into an era of “white terror”, democracy campaigners said Thursday after four students — one aged just 16 — were arrested for social media posts deemed to be a threat to China’s national security.

Wednesday’s arrests were the first made by Hong Kong police’s new national security unit, which was set up after Beijing imposed a controversial law last month aimed at quashing the city’s democracy movement.

The arrests added to a deepening sense of dread in Hong Kong that its cherished freedoms on speech — once thought to be guaranteed under a “One China, Two Systems” model — are on the way to being eviscerated.

The four arrested were former members of Student Localism, a pro-independence group that announced it was disbanding the day before the new national security law was enacted.

Police said the three males and one female — aged between 16 and 21 — were arrested on suspicion of organising and inciting secession through comments made on social media posts after the law came in.

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