Pro Democracy Activism

Politics • Asian
Pro-democracy activist and politician Joshua Wong has been arrested in Hong Kong
Pro-democracy activist and politician Joshua Wong has been arrested in Hong Kong
Credit: Joshua Wong courtesy of Facebook

After reporting to a police station in Hong Kong, pro-democracy activist and politician Joshua Wong (Huang Zhifeng) has been arrested for participating in an illegal assembly on October 5 in 2019. In addition he has been charged with violating the anti-mask law in 2019.

Politics • European
Belarus: At least 100,000 rally against Lukashenko in Minsk
Protest rally against Lukashenko, 13 September 2020. Minsk, Belarus
Protest rally against Lukashenko, 13 September 2020. Minsk, Belarus Credit: Homoatrox (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

For the fifth weekend in a row, protesters took the streets in Belarus against President Alexander Lukashenko under the slogan "We won’t let him sell the country." According to news agencies, at least 100,000 people joined the rally in Minsk, with Police claiming they had detained over 400 people in the city.

The Russian Government has stepped up support, offering to potentially restructure Belarusian debt, and providing banking liquidity. It has also said Russian riot police could be made available if needed.

Lukashenko will meet Vladimir Putin Monday in the Russian resort of Sochi. It will be their first face-to-face encounter since Belarus’s presidential election on August 9.

Politics • European
Belarus: 100,000 protest against Lukaschenko
Representative image from Belarus protests 16.08.2020
Representative image from Belarus protests 16.08.2020 Credit: Максим Шикунец (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Belarusian police have at least arrested 100 people that protested against the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukaschenko. Across the country, tens of thousands of people have gotten to the streets despite warnings by Lukaschenko to join the opposition's pro-democracy protests.

The opposition leader Swetlana Tichanowskaja had called for a "march of unity".

Politics • Asian • China
Hong Kong: ~100 arrested in protests against postponed elections

Around 100 people were arrested in Hong Kong on Sunday while protesting against delayed legislative elections. Elections were supposed to happen on September 6th but were allegedly postponed due to the Coronavirus.

Politics • European
Belarus president Lukashenko stated that "until you kill me, there will be no other elections"

During a speech where Lukashenko addressed workers at a tractor plant stated that "we held elections already. Until you kill me, there will be no other elections".

The Belarusian state TV has aired some footage of the speech which showed workers yelling "go away".

Politics • European
Workers at Belarus state TV turn against Lukashenko
Workers at Belarus state TV turn against Lukashenko
Credit: via Twitter

The workers of the main Belarusian state television channel BT have taken an open position against Alexander Lukashenko by joining the strikes that are ongoing in the country following the elections.

In addition, the television channel OHT has aired a segment that shows Lukashenko as he intends to give a speech in front of workers, but they chant in protest against him.

Politics • Asian
Over 10,000 people in Thailand protest against government and power of monarchy
Over 10,000 people in Thailand protest against government and power of monarchy
Credit: Prachatai (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

In the biggest anti-government demonstration since the coup in 2014, over 10,000 Thai protestors have moved to the street. Over the past months students had started publically voicing criticism against the powers of the monarchy and the government.

The student activist Patsalawalee Tanakitwiboonpon addressed the crowd with the demand to get "a new election and a new parliament from the people". Opposition parties claim that the elections in 2019 had been under conditions that ensured that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha stayed in power.

Politics • European
Lukashenko states that Putin will help secure Belarus if requested

The Belarusian state news agency Belta has reported that Lukashenko stated Putin will help him if requested. As Belarus sees continued protests against President Alexander Lukashenko following the elections on Sunday, Lukashenko has now stated that if he requests help to secure the safety of the state, Putin will help.

Putin has yet to confirm the claim and it is unclear if the help would be to shut down protests or only in case of an external threat.

Lukashenko has also been quoted that the consequence for state workers that strike should be to fire them.

Politics • European
Thousands of Belarusians protest peacefully as Lukashenko claims foreign attack on country
Thousands of Belarusians protest peacefully as Lukashenko claims foreign attack on country
Credit: Nasha Niva

During the day thousands of Belarusians have protested peacefully. Workers all across the country have gone on general strike including hospital, metro and factory workers.

Videos have surfaced that show police convoys apparently leaving the area around the independence square in Minsk. Lukashenko has appeared on television claiming that outside forces from Poland, Netherlands, Ukraine, and Russia have infiltrated the country in order to spark protests and destabilize it. He ordered all people to stay in their homes and not go outside.

Politics • European
Police in Belarus admits that they have used live rounds against protestors

The interior ministry in Belarus has published a statement regarding the use of police force in the ongoing protests following the election on Sunday.

It states that "warning shots did not stop" the protestors and that "to protect the lives and health of officers, firearms were employed. One of the assailants is injured". According to the official numbers from the ministry over 1,000 people were arrested in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday taking the number of total arrested people to at least 4,000.

As the internet is still partially shut down in Belarus, information is scarce but one video shows arrested people being held lying face down outside on a floor at a police station in Minks. Other videos show police hitting and ramming cars as the protests escalate further.

Politics • European
Belarus: Opposition leader Tikhanovskaya has gotten in contact with her headquarters

After filing a formal complaint with the Belarusian Central Election Commission to demand a recount of the votes in the election, the leader of the opposition Svetlana Tikhanovskaya hasn't been heard of for several hours. During that time the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania had voiced concerns regarding her security.

Her headquarter has now announced that she has gotten in touch and that "everything is fine" as protests throughout Belarus are still ongoing and have turned violent.

Politics • Asian
Multiple journalists have been arrested by Hong Kong police including journalist for UK's tv channel ITV
Multiple journalists have been arrested by Hong Kong police including journalist for UK's tv channel ITV
Credit: Wilson Li via LinkedIn

The Hong Kong Police Force has announced via their Twitter account that nine people have been arrested for alleged breaches of the national security law.

One of the arrested people is the freelance journalist Wilson Li who works for the UK-based television channel ITV. A spokesperson from ITV News has stated that: "We can confirm that Wilson Li works for ITV News in a freelance capacity. We are concerned to hear of his arrest and are urgently seeking clarification of the circumstances."

In addition to the arrests, the Hong Kong Police Force has raided and searched the office the media outlet Apple Daily.

Politics • Asian
Pro-democracy owner of Apple Daily media outlet Jimmy Lai arrested by Hong Kong police

The Hong Kong police have arrested Jimmy Lai on grounds of the new national security law in Hong Kong. According to a close aid of his, he has been arrested at 7am and lawyers have been sent to the police station.

The news agency AFP has stated that a police source has stated that Lai had been arrested for the alleged collusion with foreign forces and fraud. His house has been searched by the police, as well as the house of his son. Multiple other members of his group have reportedly been arrested.

Politics • European
Belarus election: Lukashenko receives nearly 80%, violent clashes are happening over alleged election fraud
Belarus election: Lukashenko receives nearly 80%, violent clashes are happening over alleged election fraud
Credit: via Twitter User @eglod_katia

The long term authoritarian president of Belarus has received nearly 80 percent of the votes in the elections according to preliminary exit polls. Following the announcement of the preliminary results and the claim from the Honest People association that observers found over 5096 violations, protests have broken out and turned violent.

The internet has gone down for parts of the country as the protests continue. Multiple opposition politicians had been detained by the police over the past days and weeks which already lead to tension upcoming to the election.

Politics • Asian
Hong Kong issues arrest warrant for Samuel Chu - a United States citizen - under new security law
Hong Kong issues arrest warrant for Samuel Chu - a United States citizen - under new security law
Credit: Samuel Chu via Twitter

Under the new national security law Hong Kong has issued multiple warrants for pro-democracy activists. Included in these warrants is one for managing director of the Hong Kong Democracy Council based in D.C., Samuel Chu.

Chu stated on his Twitter account that he heard about the arrest warrant from the media and that Hong Kong is searching for him for the alleged crimes of "inciting secession" and "colluding with foreign powers". He added that he is and has been for 25 years an American citizen.

Six other pro-democracy activists have gotten outstanding arrest warrants according to Chinese state media including the activist Nathan Law.

Politics • Asian
Hong Kong: Twelve pro-democracy politicians have been banned from the September election
Joshua Wong
Joshua Wong Credit: Seader (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

According to a spokesperson of the Hong Kong government, twelve people have been disqualified from participating as candidates in the upcoming legislative election in September, including Joshua Wong.

The person stated that these people did not uphold basic law and that they aren't allowed to promote the independence of Hong Kong, seek intervention from foreign governments and show misdemeanour against the national security law.

In addition, the spokesperson said that "returning Officers are still reviewing the validity of other nominations according to the laws. We do not rule out the possibility that more nominations would be invalidated".

Politics • Asian
Joshua Wong announces he has been disqualified from LegCo election in Hong Kong
Joshua Wong announces he has been disqualified from LegCo election in Hong Kong
Credit: Wong Twitter

The pro-democracy activist and politician Joshua Wong has announced via his Twitter account that he has been disqualified from running in the upcoming 2020 Legislative Council General Election in Hong Kong. The elections are set to happen on the 6 September.

In a second tweet, Wong states that his criticism of the national security law is the reason why he has been disqualified despite getting over 30,000 votes in the democratic primary.

Politics • Asian
Carrie Lam says organized efforts by Democrats' to win legislative majority might be illegal under security law
Carrie Lam says organized efforts by Democrats' to win legislative majority might be illegal under security law
Credit: Online Media Stand News

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has stated that "If this so-called primary election’s purpose is to achieve the ultimate goal of rejecting to, resisting every policy initiative of the Hong Kong SAR government, then it may fall into the category of subverting the state power" in regards to the pro-democracy camp’s primary election that happened over the past weekend. She added that coordinated efforts to subvert the state power is "is now one of the four types offences under the new national security law".

Despite a rising number of Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong over 600,000 citizens hat turned up to vote in the primaries. The result will be used as a reference for the selection of candidates of the democratic camp in five geographical constituencies of Hong Kong.

Politics • Asian
First arrested protester under new law gets bail denied
Hong Kong Protest. May 24, 2020
Hong Kong Protest. May 24, 2020 Credit: Joseph Chan

After being arrested for knocking over multiple police officers at the pro-democracy demonstration in Hong Kong last Wednesday, Tong Ying-kit has been denied to get out of jail on bail. The Hong Kong court referenced Article 42 of the new national security law in denying bail, claiming that the protester could continue to endanger national security. Tong Ying-kit had previously protested with a "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times" banner and then drove a motorbike into police officers.

Politics • Asian
Messenger app Telegram will temporarily suspend fulfilling data requests from Hong Kong courts
Messenger app Telegram will temporarily suspend fulfilling data requests from Hong Kong courts
Credit: unsplash.com / Christian Wiediger

According to Hong Kong Free Press the messenger app Telegram has decided to temporarily not fulfill data requests of its users made by Hong Kong courts. The head of marketing for telegram, Mike Ravdonikas, has stated that "Telegram does not intend to process any data requests related to its Hong Kong users until an international consensus is reached in relation to the ongoing political changes in the city". The decision follows the enactment of the new national security law in Hong Kong.