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Protesters rally in Taiwan, call for release of 12 Hong Kong people arrested by China

WION logo WION 25-10-2020 (Wion Web Team)
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Hundreds of protesters rallied in Taiwan's capital on Sunday -- demanding China should release 12 Hong Kong people arrested at sea by mainland authorities.

The 12 were arrested on August 23 for alleged illegal entry into mainland China after setting off from Hong Kong in a boat bound for democratic Taiwan, amid a crackdown by Beijing on pro-democracy activists in the former British colony.

All 12 were reportedly suspected of committing crimes including manufacturing or possessing explosives, arson and rioting in Hong Kong.

Many demonstrators wore black shirts, with some holding signs demanding "immediate release" for the 12 and others waving yellow umbrellas, a symbol of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.

An online rally was scheduled in Hong Kong on Sunday evening.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said the 12 would have to face justice in the mainland and that her government will provide them with "needed and feasible" assistance.

Ten of them were on bail and not allowed to leave Hong Kong.

Taiwan shares with the Hong Kong protesters a deep antipathy for Beijing, which considers Taiwan its territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in May became the first government leader globally to pledge measures to help Hong Kong people who leave due to what they see as tightening Chinese controls.

This, however, has further strained Taipei's already poor ties with Beijing, which has ramped up military activities near Taiwan.

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