News / Asia

Hong Kong Protest Organizers Charged

Policemen stand in front of the police headquarters where organizers of Hong Kong's biggest pro-democracy rally were arrested in Hong Kong, July 4, 2014.
Policemen stand in front of the police headquarters where organizers of Hong Kong's biggest pro-democracy rally were arrested in Hong Kong, July 4, 2014.
VOA News

Five members of an activist group that organized a massive political rally in Hong Kong earlier this week have been charged with minor offenses.

A Civil Human Rights Front leader said the group's treasurer and another officer were among those taken into custody, along with a driver and two volunteers. Organizers say a half-million people demonstrated in the streets of Hong Kong on July 1 to challenge Beijing's control over local elected officials.

The group posted to its Facebook account on Friday that the members, who are accused of blocking traffic, obstructing police and violating traffic safety, had been freed, but that police had confiscated their phones.

Some 500 people were arrested in what was largely a peaceful protest on a public holiday. The majority were released the following day.

Organizers say 510,000 people attended the protest on the 17th anniversary of the former British colony's return to Chinese governance.

Police put the figure at just under 100,000.

The annual protest took on added significance this year amid a campaign to pressure Beijing to allow Hong Kong residents to elect their leader.

Many of the protesters chanted anti-China slogans and carried signs demanding "real democracy" as they marched from Victoria Park to the financial district.

The protest follows an unofficial referendum in which nearly 800,000 Hong Kong residents voted to be given more control over the nomination of candidates in a 2017 election.

Beijing said it will fulfill its promise to allow the semi-autonomous territory to elect its leader in 2017, but insists only mainland-approved candidates can run.

In the past, mass protests have convinced Beijing to alter its policies toward Hong Kong. In 2003, half a million people showed up for a pro-democracy protest, prompting China to scrap proposed anti-subversion laws.  But this time Communist Party leaders appear to be standing firm.

The party last month issued a White Paper emphasizing its "comprehensive jurisdiction" over Hong Kong, which it stressed did not enjoy "full autonomy."

Hong Kong residents enjoy more civil and political rights than their counterparts on the mainland due to Beijing's 1997 agreement with Britain.

But discontent with perceived Chinese interference in Hong Kong is rising and a heavy-handed response by the mainland could trigger more protests.

Occupy Central, a coalition of protest groups, has threatened to shut down the city's financial district later this year if its demands for electoral reforms are not met.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

  • A protester is carried away by police officers after staying overnight in Hong Kong's financial district, July 2, 2014.
  • A protester wearing a headband which reads "civil disobedience" cries before being dragged away by  police after staying overnight at Hong Kong's financial district July 2, 2014.
  • Protesters demand that a police officer (right) stay away from them during a peaceful protest, in the financial district, Hong Kong, July 2, 2014.
  • Hundreds of protesters stage a peaceful sit-in overnight following a huge rally in support of democratic reform, in the financial district of Hong Kong, July 2, 2014,
  • Protesters sing while waving mobile phones during an overnight sit-in, financial district of Hong Kong,  July 1, 2014.
  • Hong Kong residents march through the streets of the former British colony carrying umbrellas during a protest to push for greater democracy, Hong Kong, July 1, 2014.
  • Tens of thousands march in downtown streets during a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong, July 1, 2014.
  • Former Hong Kong Chief Secretary Anson Chan (center) looks on beside a police officer as she joins thousands of protesters during a march to demand universal suffrage in Hong Kong, July 1, 2014.
  • Protesters carry portraits of detained Chinese human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang (right) and mainland journalist Gao Yu as they join tens of thousands of others during a march to demand universal suffrage, Hong Kong July 1, 2014.
  • Tens of thousands of residents march during an annual pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong, July 1, 2014.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Comment Sorting
Comment on this forum (7)
Comments
     
by: Peter from: Singapore
July 11, 2014 3:57 PM
Ukraine was the best case that indicated who were the bad hands. All agree fifties years not change. Economy, administration system, freedom within colony -condition. Up to now any change ? Confliction,protest cannot solve the problem. Did the colony government provide any democratic election for HK'S?

In Response

by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: los Angeles
July 12, 2014 12:46 AM
The U K is a democratic government with a better human rights record, respect and practice judicial independence and rule of law. China is not. If China wished, she needed not promise H K a One Country Two Systems with a high degree of autonomy in 1997.


by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 07, 2014 12:31 PM
Now you can see even regional newspapers in USA and Australia carry reports about the Occupy Central movement. Beijing high-ups are responding too. It shows that H K is again receiving international media attention. Would that put pressure on Beijing to change its policy? We are waiting to see.


by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 07, 2014 1:05 AM
The Hong Kong offices of the Big Four Accounting firms advertised in H K newspapers denouncing the Occupy Central Movement. Interestingly enough their staff put out another announcement denouncing that they do not share their employers' position. How embarassing. I suggest the headquarters of these global firms should stand out to clarify whether their Hong Kong branches have the authority to make such announcement and how come their employees disagree.


by: William Li from: Canada
July 06, 2014 1:02 PM
When the Occupy Wall Street reopen?


by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 05, 2014 9:53 PM
Christopher Patten wrote in this week-end's Financial Times criticising the White Paper of the PRC on Hong Kong. The Wall St. Journal carries a long article on supporting the Occupy Central Movement.


by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 05, 2014 1:11 AM
China is blaming the UK and US governments for being the black hands stirring things up to undermine China;s exercise of sovereignty over a Hong Kong China recovered but Britain wants to retain her influence nothingstanding.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid