Hong Kong police make first arrests under new security law

Riot police arrest a man Wednesday during a demonstration against the new national security law in Hong Kong.
(Anthony Kwan / Getty Images)
Lee Cheuk-yan washes his eyes with water after being pepper sprayed by Hong Kong police during a demonstration Wednesday.
Activist Lee Cheuk-yan washes his eyes with water after being pepper sprayed by Hong Kong police during a demonstration Wednesday.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)

HONG KONG — Hong Kong police made the first arrests Wednesday under a new national security law imposed by China’s central government, as thousands of people defied tear gas and pepper pellets to protest against the contentious move on the anniversary of the former British colony’s handover to Chinese rule.

Police said 10 people were arrested under the law, including a man with a Hong Kong independence flag and a woman holding a sign displaying the British flag and calling for Hong Kong’s independence — all violations of the law that took effect Tuesday night. Others were detained for possessing items advocating independence.

Hong Kong police said on Facebook that they arrested some 370 people on various charges, including unlawful assembly, possession of weapons and violating the new law, which was imposed in a move seen as Beijing’s boldest step yet to erase the legal firewall between the semiautonomous territory and the mainland’s authoritarian Communist Party system.

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The law, imposed following anti-government protests in Hong Kong last year, makes secessionist, subversive or terrorist activities illegal, as well as foreign intervention in the city’s internal affairs. Any person taking part in activities such as shouting slogans or holding up banners and flags calling for the city’s independence is violating the law, regardless of whether violence is used.

Activist Lee Cheuk-yan participates in a demonstration in Causeway Bay before the annual July 1 handover march in Hong Kong.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
Police display a banner warning protesters in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong.
Police display a banner warning protesters in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong. Hong Kong marked the 23rd anniversary of its handover to China on Wednesday, just one day after China enacted a national security law that cracks down on protests in the territory.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
Riot police stand guard after pushing back protesters demonstrating against the new security law
Riot police stand guard after pushing back protesters demonstrating against the new security law on Wednesday. The law, which took effect Tuesday night, makes activities deemed subversive or secessionist punishable by up to life in prison.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
Protesters in Hong Kong set up a defense shield using umbrellas.
Protesters in Hong Kong set up a defense shield using umbrellas during a demonstration on Wednesday.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
A protester, right, dressed as a Chinese official gestures during a demonstration in Causeway Bay
A protester dressed as a Chinese official gestures during a demonstration in Causeway Bay before the annual handover march in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
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Journalists run as police fire water cannons during a demonstration against the new national security law in Hong Kong.
Journalists run as police fire water cannons during a demonstration against the new national security law in Hong Kong.
(Kin Cheung / Associated Press)
Riot police clear a road after pushing back security law protesters in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Riot police clear a road after pushing back security law protesters on the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain on Wednesday.
(Kin Cheung / Associated Press)
Police pepper spray protesters in Causeway Bay during the annual handover march in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
A woman prays in front of police before the annual handover march in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
Police remove a giant umbrella roadblock from a main road in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Police remove a giant umbrella roadblock from a main road during a march marking the anniversary of the Hong Kong handover from Britain to China on Wednesday.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
Police detain protesters during the annual handover march in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
Police detain a protester after being sprayed with pepper spray during a protest in Causeway Bay
Police detain a protester who had been pepper sprayed before the annual handover march in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
A reporter falls to the ground after being pepper sprayed by Hong Kong police during a protest in Causeway Bay on Wednesday.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
A protester is detained by riot police during the annual handover march in Hong Kong, Wednesday, July. 1, 2020.
Riot police detain a protester during the annual handover march in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
A protester who had been pepper sprayed is detained by Hong Kong police during Wednesday's protest.
(Kin Cheung / Associated Press)
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Police create a perimeter to control protesters in Causeway Bay before the annual handover march in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Police create a perimeter to control the movements of protesters in Causeway Bay before the annual handover march in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
(Kin Cheung / Associated Press)
Protesters against Hong Kong's new national security law gesture with five fingers.
Protesters against Hong Kong’s new national security law gesture with five fingers, signifying their “Five demands — not one less,” on the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain on Wednesday.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
Hong Kong police detain security law protesters in Causeway Bay on Wednesday.
(Kin Cheung / Associated Press)
Hong Kong police detain a security law protester on Wednesday.
(Kin Cheung / Associated Press)
A journalist is treated after being hit by pepper spray during a security law protest in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
Police detain protesters against the new security law during a march marking the anniversary of the Hong Kong
Hong Kong police detain security law protesters on Wednesday.
(Vincent Yu / Associated Press)
Police detain protesters after a protest in Causeway Bay before the annual handover march in Hong Kon
Hong Kong security law protesters are detained on Wednesday. Police said on Facebook they had arrested some 370 people on various charges, including unlawful assembly and violation of the new national security law.
(Kin Cheung / Associated Press)