Dozens of leading Hong Kong democrats charged with subversion

In the largest single crackdown yet, dozens of democrats and activists were charged in Hong Kong Kong Sunday (February 28)

With conspiracy to commit subversion.

Sam Cheung, an activist and a participant in an unofficial primary election last summer, was charged after reporting to a local police station, accompanied by his wife.

More than 50 other democrats were arrested on Jan. 6 in the largest national security operation since the law's passage last June and later released on bail.

Former lawmaker Helena Wong was among those arrested.

"After we went through these few years, even for people like me who are devoted to the democratic movement for decades since the 1980s, we realized, as long as we don't give up, the seeds of democracy will germinate in the hearts of Hong Kong people. Neither the National Security Law nor the National Security Police can take this seed away from our hearts. Therefore, I have great confidence in the people of Hong Kong that the democratic movement will continue."

They were accused of organising and participating in an unofficial "primary election" last July aimed at selecting the strongest candidates for a legislative council election.

Hong Kong police said in a statement they had laid a charge against 47 people, and they'll appear in court Monday morning.

The police say 99 individuals have been arrested for suspected violations of the security laws so far- which critics see as a threat to Hong Kong's freedoms and autonomy.

The laws punish acts of subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces and terrorism with possible life imprisonment.