In the Chinese city of Hong Kong, activists have been arrested for the first time based on the controversial new security law.
Former activist leader Tony Chung and three other students have been arrested for allegedly seeking to become a “nation of Hong Kong” independent from China.
It is the first time that the new law has been used against specific individuals, local media report. There were already arrests during demonstrations against the new law in the former British crown colony.
By law, the Chinese government in Beijing is strengthening its grip on the metropolis, which is becoming less democratic as a result. Critics argue that the communist regime gradually ends significant differences with other Chinese cities.
The four detainees, aged between 16 and 21, were members of a now-banned independence movement and are said to have advertised an independent Hong Kong on the internet. 19-year-old Chung was arrested at home. A lot of material was also taken from his house.
The controversial law, passed in June, has been heavily criticized by Western countries. It enables the deployment of Chinese security forces.
Hong Kong has been part of China again since 1997. It was agreed to govern the city on the principle of “one country, two systems”, with its own rules for trade and politics.