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Hong Kong pop star Denise Ho detained by national security police

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She was one of six people arrested in an operation in the early hours of the morning, all linked to the organization of online media Stand News. Police later confirmed at a news conference that a seventh person had been arrested. Police have accused them of “conspiracy to publish seditious material,” a crime from the colonial era.

The star, who was born in Hong Kong but grew up in Canada, rose to fame in the early 2000s with a series of hit albums, before building a successful acting career.

He later became an international face of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement, appearing before the United Nations and the United States Congress.

Police spent more than two hours at Ho’s home on Wednesday, according to his assistant, who asked not to be named. Officers confiscated phones and computers, as well as Ho’s ID card and passport. She was later taken to a police station, according to a post on Ho’s verified Facebook page.

Also on Wednesday, some 200 police officers stormed Stand News offices and confiscated journalistic material, according to the Hong Kong government and the Hong Kong Association of Journalists, raising concerns about the curtailment of liberties. press after the imposition of a comprehensive national city security law in 2020.

The Hong Kong government has repeatedly denied criticism that the law – which criminalizes acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces – has stifled freedom, saying it has restored order to the city. after the 2019 protest movement.

He served on the Stand News board.

Although he first became interested in politics in 2012 after declaring himself gay, it was the Student-led Umbrella Movement of 2014, a series of massive, pro-democracy demonstrations, that see them play a more prominent role. . She took to the streets, becoming one of the movement’s most outspoken supporters, and one of the last to be dragged by police when she cleared protest camps.

“I have this younger generation listening to my music,” Ho told CNN in 2017. “So I think I have this responsibility to do the right thing and not spread fear with my actions.”

When pro-democracy, anti-government protests consumed Hong Kong again in 2019, he continued to march with protesters, but also used his platform to seek international support.
In July 2019, he spoke before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, urging the UN to “protect the people of Hong Kong” and withdraw China from the council. He argued that China had denied the commitments it made when it took control of Hong Kong in 1997, echoing the concerns of millions of Hong Kong women protesting at the time.

During the UN speech, Chinese diplomats repeatedly interrupted, accusing it of violating the UN constitution and attacking Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” model of government “without foundation”.

His activism has also had other repercussions over the years, including his blacklist and censorship in mainland China.

Chinese state media have attacked Ho as a “Hong Kong poison” in previous years. In 2016, amid criticism of Ho from Beijing, luxury brand Lancome canceled a promotional concert with the star, citing “security reasons”.

CNN’s Nectar Gan, James Griffiths, Teele Rebane and Jadyn Sham contributed to the report.

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