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Hong Kong Protest Leaders Surrender to Police

  • VOA News

Four protest leaders, from right, Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Chan Kin-man, Chu Yiu-ming and former Cardinal Joseph Zen, walk inside the police station in Hong Kong as they surrender to police Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014.

Four protest leaders, from right, Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Chan Kin-man, Chu Yiu-ming and former Cardinal Joseph Zen, walk inside the police station in Hong Kong as they surrender to police Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014.

The founders of Hong Kong's Occupy Central movement have turned themselves in to police for their role in organizing pro-democracy protests authorities have deemed illegal.

Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man, and Chu Yiu-ming entered the Central Police Station on Wednesday. They were turned away about an hour later after police refused to arrest or charge them.

In a news conference outside the station, Tai said the trio was presented with a special form and told to check off the crimes to which they were confessing. A line of Occupy supporters also lined up to fill out the form.

It is unclear whether police will arrest or charge any of the activists with a crime. Authorities have not commented on the surrender, which is seen as an attempt to rejuvenate a movement that has begun to lose public support.

The Occupy founders on Tuesday called for demonstrators to retreat, citing fears of further violence following clashes with police on Sunday. So far, the protesters have rejected those calls.

One prominent student leader, Joshua Wong, is taking a different approach. The 18-year-old has not eaten since late Monday, hoping this will convince authorities to restart talks on political reforms.

Protest leaders and Hong Kong authorities have held one round of dialogue, but it resulted in little progress after both sides stood firm and repeated their talking points.

The demonstrations began in late September, after Beijing announced it will screen candidates who want to run for chief executive in the semiautonomous Chinese territory's 2017 elections.

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