24 May 2019
Key protest figures are divided over plans to surrender to the police. Photo: HKEJ
Key protest figures are divided over plans to surrender to the police. Photo: HKEJ

Pan-democrats, key protest figures break ranks over surrender

Most Hong Kong pan-democrats have no plans to surrender to the police, breaking ranks with top protest figures who are set to turn themselves in on Wednesday.

Fifteen said they don’t intend to surrender against six who do, according to Ming Pao Daily which cited its own survey.

All but four of the 26 pan-democrats in the Legislative Council took part in the poll.

This emerged as Cardinal Joseph Zen said he would turn himself in, along with the three co-founders of Occupy Central, the civil disobedience movement that helped inspire the student-driven democracy protests.

In an emotional media conference Tuesday, Benny Tai, Chu Yiu-ming and Chan Kin-man said they will take responsibility for the “legal consequences” of their actions and urged the protesters to withdraw after more than two months of street occupation marred by violence in recent days.

In October, nine pan-democracts, including Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau and Civic Party leader Alan Leong, said they would turn themselves in.  

But on Tuesday, Leong said surrender is not necessary because it would leave the protesters on their own.

Instead, he challenged the police to arrest him if they have evidence.

Lau said she will not turn herself in until the street protests end.

Hong Kong Federation of Students and Scholarism, the two student groups that have been spearheading the two-month-old protests, have ruled out surrender.

Meanwhile, 12 Democratic Party members led by vice chairman Richard Tsoi and former legislators Cheung Man-kwong and Yeung Sum said they will present themselves to the police.

About 50 other people are expected to surrender Wednesday, Sing Tao Daily reported, citing police sources.

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