Hong Kong: Prominent human rights defender arrested by police
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One of Hong Kong's most prominent human rights defenders was arrested by city police on Tuesday for alleged witness tampering, a police source told AFP.
Albert Ho is already facing up to ten years in prison for “inciting subversion” under the national security law Beijing imposed on Hong Kong in 2020 after sometimes violent pro-democracy protests in the city.
This time he is accused of having “interfered with witnesses” while he was out on bail, said the source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.
His trial for incitement to subversion is ongoing, and Mr. Ho was released on bail in August after spending nearly a year in prison. The conditions of this release include, in particular, the prohibition of making statements that represent a threat to national security.
Violating these rules can trigger immediate arrest, according to Hong Kong law.
The 71-year-old lawyer once led the Hong Kong Alliance, a now-disbanded group that has organized for more than 30 years of annual vigils to commemorate the deadly crackdown in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Albert Ho's arrest is the latest in a series that has seen, among others, his brother Fred Ho also be arrested under the National Security Act. He, also a lawyer, represented labor rights defender Elizabeth Tang Yin-Ngor.
Ms Tang, general secretary of the International Domestic Workers Federation, was arrested on suspicion of “collusion with foreign forces”.
She was also released on bail, but her sister and Fred Ho were also arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt justice.
< p>They have also since been released on bail.