More than a dozen veteran Hong Kong protesters were arrested Saturday.
Police in the semi-autonomous region rounded up at least 14 prominent activists, The Associated Press reported. Among them were 81-year-old former lawmaker Martin Lee and media tycoon Jimmy Lai.
Most of the arrestees were charged for protesting back in August 2019, according to the AP. Those protests, and many, many that followed, were against a law that could’ve led to Hong Kong residents being tried for crimes in mainland China.
Activists said that the authorities were taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic, the Guardian reported. With people stuck in lockdown, they said, there could be limited physical protesting.
Pro-democracy protesters Albert Ho, Lee Cheuk-yan and Au Nok-hin were also arrested, according to the AP.
The biggest name, however, was Lee, who founded Hong Kong’s Democratic Party and helped write its pseudo-constitution, the Basic Law.
Prince Charles of Britain, writing in a private journal in 1997 when Hong Kong was finally given back to China after 99 years of colonial rule by the Brits, said “Thus we left Hong Kong to her fate and the hope that Martin Lee, the leader of the Democrats, would not be arrested.”