Pro-Beijing politician says the 12 suspects detained in China can return to HK once they have served their custodial sentences for illegal entry into inland waters

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14th September 2020 – (Hong Kong) Earlier, 12 Hong Kong citizens who were involved in criminal cases during protests were arrested by the Chinese Coast Guard for illegal entry into the inland waters while they were suspected of absconding to Taiwan via the waterway.

The Yantian Branch of the Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau confirmed on Sunday (13th) that the 12 people had been criminally detained in Shenzhen. Since the incident occurred, there has been an online twitter war between China and the United States. U.S. State Department spokesman Morgan Deann Ortagus said on Friday (11th) that they are democracy activists.

The 12 Hong Kong people arrested at sea by mainland authorities last month were separatists, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Sunday, in response to her U.S. counterpart’s characterisation of the arrest as a deterioration of human rights. Donning masks and hats to shield their identities, they made their first public appeal for help and information on their relatives’ plight, pleading for them to be allowed to consult lawyers appointed by their families and not the Chinese government and to be allowed to call relatives in Hong Kong.

Tam Yiu Chung,  a pro-Beijing politician in Hong Kong, current member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and former member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong  said after a visit to the air-inflated laboratory at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park Sports Centre  this morning (14) that Hua Chunying’s remarks were only in response to the US Secretary of State, saying that the other party “was overstretching and she had to deal with it.”

Tam also pointed out that the national criminal law has set out relevant regulations and the country will definitely handle it in accordance with the regulations. He believes that the case is still being searched for evidence at this stage. At present, there is not enough information to comment. However, according to the Chinese Criminal Law, if a prosecution is made, the case will be transferred to the prosecutor’s office and then sent to face trial. The suspects can return to Hong Kong after serving the relevant sentences. Regarding the public’s worries about the judicial system in the Mainland, Tam said that the judicial procedures in the Mainland are becoming more and more open and transparent. There is even a live broadcast of the interrogation process. He hopes that everyone will not use speculation as a fact.

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