Hong Kong police arrested six people yesterday over death threats to a new territory lawmaker who is advocating more autonomy from China, with reports saying some of the suspects have triad links.
Eddie Chu was one of several rebel lawmakers to win seats in landmark legislative elections earlier this month.
He and his family have been under 24-hour protection since the vote on Sept. 4 due to threats to their safety.
Photo: AFP Photo
Police told reporters that six men had been arrested for “intimidation” linked to the death threats made to Chu, but gave no further details.
The South China Morning Post said suspected triad members were among those arrested in raids yesterday morning, citing an unnamed police source.
Television footage showed some of the suspects wearing black hoods and being led into a police station.
Chu is an environmentalist who has campaigned against the destruction of heritage properties to make way for newer developments and is pushing for better rights for rural residents.
He has sought to expose shady political dealings in rural areas where local strongmen are influential and have been accused of having links to criminal gangs.
Triad gangs have traditionally been involved in drug-running, prostitution and extortion, but are increasingly in legitimate ventures such as property and the finance industry.
Some are believed to also have links with the political establishment and there have previously been allegations of triads sending paid thugs to stir up trouble during protests.
Chu was one of at least five candidates in the semi-autonomous territory pushing for more distance or even an outright break from Beijing who took seats for the first time in the Legislative Council assembly, amid fears of China tightening its grip.
Chu has previously said he received the threats because of his political views.
“The threat to my personal safety is imminent,” he told reporters two weeks ago outside the police headquarters.
The legislative elections were the first major polls since the 2014 democracy rallies, with the anti-establishment camp increasing its share of the legislature, which is still weighted toward Beijing.
Chu, standing as an independent, emerged as the winner in his constituency with more than 80,000 votes — the most of any candidate in the polls.
The election saw the highest voter turnout since Hong Kong was returned to China by Britain in 1997 under a handover agreement guaranteeing its freedoms for 50 years.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
‘CHAPITOS’: An ex-DEA agent said the sons of the former cartel head are engaged in a battle for control, with the health of the man temporarily in charge a factor The fight for control of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s legacy spilled into the open on Thursday after a gun battle between rival Mexican gangs left 16 dead, authorities said. The 16 men, heavily armed and wearing bulletproof vests, died in a six-hour running shootout near the rural town of Tepuche in northwestern Sinaloa province. “A van with seven bodies was located” after an initial clash, while nine bodies were discovered following a second exchange, Sinaloa Minister of Security Cristobal Castaneda told reporters. Castaneda said that Wednesday’s clash near Tepuche, 25km from the capital of Sinaloa, Culiacan, was “part of a struggle