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(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Hong Kong Indigenous leader Ray Wong arrested, as 1967 leftists condemn radicals who attacked police in Mong Kok - Algeria latest news

Activist Ray Wong Toi-yeung, a key figure in the localist group ­accused of starting the Mong Kok riot, was arrested yesterday for ­inciting others to take part in the violence, after chemicals that could be used to make explosives were found inside a flat.

Wong, 22, convenor of Hong Kong Indigenous, was said to have gone missing after publishing a “final message to Hong­kongers” on February 11 in which he said it was “better to die with honour than survive in disgrace”.

He was arrested at about 2pm yesterday when police broke into a flat in Tin Shui Wai where officers seized the chemicals.

They also seized an extendable baton, one electromagnetic gun, HK$530,000 in cash and about 100 pills of suspected part one poison, including boxes of the erectile dysfunction medication sildenafil and marijuana.

A Guy Fawkes mask, protective gear used in war games and a computer along with some circuit boards were also found. A bomb disposal unit was called to the site.

A 28-year-old man was also arrested in the flat for participating in a riot and assisting an offender.

Wong was held for questioning on suspicion of being involved in the violence that rocked Mong Kok when hundreds of protesters clashed with police, setting fires on the streets and hurling bricks at front-line officers on the night of February 8.

Hong Kong Indigenous announced Wong’s arrest on its Facebook page before it was confirmed by police.

Wong, a freelance interior designer, co-founded Hong Kong Indigenous in January last year and has been a core member and spokesman for the group.

It operates on the principle of using violence to fight “oppression”, and has rejected the more peaceful approach adopted by the Occupy movement in 2014.

The group claimed police had arrested more than 20 of its members since the clashes, but a government source said it was only six, including Wong.

The latest arrests came as a group of leftists who took part in the 1967 anti-colonial government riots in Hong Kong threw their support behind police and their use of force to stop the Mong Kok rioters.

The 67 Synergy Group, formed by some of those arrested over the 1967 riots, criticised the young protesters in Mong Kok for resorting to violence against police.

Group spokesman Chan Shi-yuen, who was a secondary school student in 1967, said the nature of their rebellion was entirely different to that in Mong Kok.

“We were anti-colonial British government. We love our country. But the young rioters nowadays are against the Chinese government and the Hong Kong government. And they want Hong Kong to be independent,” Chan said.

“[The localists] claim police used excessive force and they should not have used a gun to fire warning shots. I want to tell them – if it was in 1967, police would have shot you.”

Any comparison between the unrest in the 1960s and the clashes two weeks ago would tarnish their “honourable” cause, he added.

A spokesman for Hong Kong Indigenous retorted: “They love China. But we love Hong Kong. And we both use the means we think are right and just to achieve our aim. We do not want to use force, but we are forced to do so because otherwise the government will not listen.”

Beijing, through its liaison office in Hong Kong and the foreign ministry, has branded the Mong Kok rioters “violent separatists inclined towards terrorism”, putting them in a similar category to separatists in the Tibet and Xinjiang regions who are considered a threat to national security.

The violence has prompted speculation that Beijing may make a renewed push for national security legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law.

The Hong Kong government has denied having any plans to revive the controversial legislation.

Tag(s) : #Asia-Pacific

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