Controversies over 12 Hong Kongers

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Source: Reuter, Dissidents like Liang Guoxiong displayed "No National Day, Only National Grief" banner.

On August 26, Communist Maritime Police Headquarters issued a statement through Sina Weibo. Allegedly, the boat interception on August 23 was within the mainland territory. As a result, they jailed twelve Hong Kongers under suspicion of “illegal entry”. They held the detainees in Yantian District Detention Center, Shenzhen. All of these arrestees connect through the Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protests. Their ages range between 16 and 30.

Hong Kong Police Commissioner Tang, Ping-Keung claimed the interception was not a joint operation (1). According to Tang, the Hong Kong Police learned about this matter ex post facto from the media. He mentioned that the Hong Kong police did not have any relevant information. They had already requested updates from their Mainland counterparts.

Unnamed journalists from Apple Daily conducted a detailed investigation of the interception. They organized a timeline below based on police records:

Source: Apple Daily

At 4:19 am on August 23, the Hong Kong Security Bureau dispatched a fixed-wing plane (B-LVB) from Chek Lap Kok Airport. Since 4:30 am, it had been circling Sai Kung, Tung Lung Chau and Ninepin Islands for three hours. The boat allegedly left Hong Kong waters at 7:30 am. The fixed-wing plane also flew out of Hong Kong water. Its flight course matched the boat’s general direction of travel. B-LVB even lowered its altitude to 1,000 meters. By 8:14 am, the plane approached the nearest location where the Chinese Coast Guard made the interception. According to the Apple Daily, it was rare for a B-LVB plane to take a mission early in the morning. Seemingly, it hovered around for an extended period for target detection and surveillance.

At 4:19 am on August 23, the Hong Kong Security Bureau dispatched a fixed-wing plane (B-LVB) from Chek Lap Kok Airport. Since 4:30 am, it had been circling Sai Kung, Tung Lung Chau and Ninepin Islands for three hours. The boat allegedly left Hong Kong waters at 7:30 am. The fixed-wing plane also flew out of Hong Kong water. Its flight course matched the boat’s general direction of travel. B-LVB even lowered its altitude to 1,000 meters. By 8:14 am, the plane approached the nearest location where the Chinese Coast Guard made the interception. According to the Apple Daily, it was rare for a B-LVB plane to take a mission early in the morning. Seemingly, it hovered around for an extended period for target detection and surveillance.

The reporter interviewed Tan Wenhao. Tan is a local Civic Party member who used to be an aircraft technician. The B-LVB lingered in the same maritime area for two to three hours. He believed it was likely for the plane to survey and pinpoint the position of the boat. Their travel schedules and patterns shared great similarities. The Hong Kong police probably intercepted intelligence in advance(6). They could be the ones who tipped off Communist Maritime Police (2).

Apply Daily investigates 12 Hong Kong detainees.(6)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPxQajYPvIM&feature=youtu.be

Concerned Hong Kongers set up the Facebook page “12港人關注組” (12 Hong Konger Focus Team). They published the identities of B-LVB crew members for the August 23 mission. The government quickly scrubbed the general directories to mask the identities of the entire Flying Service Operations Team. However, their contacts remained in partnering departments’ local backups. It further showcased a hasty cover-up.

The families of 12 detainees retained lawyers from the Mainland to check on their loved ones. However, their requests faced consistent rejections from the Communist Authorities. What’s more, the communists coerced these lawyers to withdraw their representations. Five lawyers ended up quitting. The Communist government pushed for appointments of their designated lawyers.

These family members petitioned for interventions from the Hong Kong Government. They had four requests. Firstly, they refused the Communist government assigned lawyers. They demanded appropriate medical care for the detainees. Besides, they requested phone calls. They stressed the detainees’ rights under the Basic Laws and called for a fair trial in Hong Kong.

In response, the Hong Kong government insisted that twelve Hong Kongers had already obtained legal counsel from Mainland (lawyers arranged by the CCP authorities). The Hong Kong Government refused to interfere with enforcement operations outside its jurisdiction. Nonetheless, they forwarded families’ written requests to the Mainland.

For over 70 days, the families received no updates as the Communist Detention Center continued to deny any requests for visits. The Hong Kong Civil Human Rights Front launched a protest on October 1 for this cause (4). “#Save12HKyouths” became a global theme among Anti-CCP protests (click here for relevant articles). 

More information continued to surface. It suggested a deeper collaboration between Hong Kong and Mainland China on these detained dissidents. The public eagerly fought for the disclosure of the nature of the mission of the fixed-wing plane B-LVB on August 23. Overall, activists want the release of all relevant B-LVB reconnaissance records. It includes reports, images and radar data. Controversies remained on whether the nature of conducted aerial surveillance.

【Author】 Randy Young;【Editor】Brandon Michaels

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【Reference 】 

  1. United Daily News : 10多名港人乘船潜逃来台遭拘捕 邓炳强:非跨境合作

https://udn.com/news/story/7331/4815413 

  1. RFI家属疑12港人被警方“卖猪仔”送中要求澄清出事水域地点

https://www.rfi.fr/cn/%E6%B8%AF%E6%BE%B3%E5%8F%B0/20200921-%E5%AE%B6%E5%B1%9E%E7%96%9112%E6%B8%AF%E4%BA%BA%E8%A2%AB%E8%AD%A6%E6%96%B9-%E5%8D%96%E7%8C%AA%E4%BB%94-%E9%80%81%E4%B8%AD%E8%A6%81%E6%B1%82%E6%BE%84%E6%B8%85%E5%87%BA%E4%BA%8B%E6%B0%B4%E5%9F%9F%E5%9C%B0%E7%82%B9 

  1. Zaobao : 香港民阵拟十.一游行促释放深圳拘留12港人

https://www.zaobao.com.sg/realtime/china/story20200924-1087537

4.DW :国安法后的抗议: 社民连四人上街,公务员受警告

https://www.dw.com/zh/%E5%9B%BD%E5%AE%89%E6%B3%95%E5%90%8E%E7%9A%84%E6%8A%97%E8%AE%AE%E7%A4%BE%E6%B0%91%E8%BF%9E%E5%9B%9B%E4%BA%BA%E4%B8%8A%E8%A1%97-%E5%85%AC%E5%8A%A1%E5%91%98%E5%8F%97%E8%AD%A6%E5%91%8A/a-55118985

  1. Apple Daily: 踢爆港府密謀12人送中   警坐定翼機 監視偷渡艇

ttps://hk.appledaily.com/local/20201008/Z4CJRP2QMNBZPOK5POCOMOZE4M/

  1. Apple Daily: Apple Daily News Report

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPxQajYPvIM&feature=youtu.be

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