Date
22 October 2017
People (left) hold banners in support of Hong Kong. At right, protesters gather in Wukan village. Photos: weiquanwang.com, internet
People (left) hold banners in support of Hong Kong. At right, protesters gather in Wukan village. Photos: weiquanwang.com, internet

Dozens arrested in China amid HK democracy protests

More than 100 dissidents have been arrested in China since the Hong Kong democracy protests began in late September, Apple Daily reported Monday.

They include Guo Yushan, founder of Beijing-based think tank Transition Institute; Chen Kun, leader of non-government organization Liren College and Kou Yanding, a film producer and democracy advocate, as well as several other artists.

Many of them did not even say a word about the mass movement in Hong Kong, the report said.

On Sunday, police shut down a seminar in which about 40 mainland lawyers and academics planned to discus a controversial criminal case in Beijing.

An unnamed participant said the government is worried such gatherings might serve as a forum to discuss the Hong Kong street protests and inspire copycats to stage a similar occupation of Tiananmen Square.  

Meanwhile, residents in Wukan village in Guangdong province held a protest to support two former local officials who had led the fight against land expropriation before they were jailed for allegedly taking bribes, Ming Pao daily reported.

Hong Ruichao and Yang Semao were sentenced to four years and two years, respectively.

Their supporters, who have been holding protests since Oct. 8, said they are victims of political persecution.

In 2011, Wukan residents fought off attempts to forcibly take land from them after officials sold vast tracks to developers without properly compensating them.

The three-month uprising ended in violence and the sacking of some local officials. The government later allowed the residents to elect a new village committee by “one person, one vote”.

The exercise was hailed as a model of village democracy, the report said.

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