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US calls for immediate release of jailed pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong: Blinken Hong Kong

US calls for immediate release of jailed pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong: Blinken

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 01 Mar 2021, 07:03 pm

Moscow/Sputnik: Washington condemns the arrests of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and calls for their immediate release, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday.

Sunday raids across Hong Kong resulted in arrests of 47 pro-democracy activists and politicians, who were then charged with conspiracy to commit subversion. If convicted, they will be jailed for life.

"We condemn the detention of and charges filed against pan-democratic candidates in Hong Kong's elections and call for their immediate release. Political participation and freedom of expression should not be crimes. The U.S. stands with the people of Hong Kong," Blinken wrote on Twitter.

Subversion was made a criminally punishable offense in Hong Kong last year under the Beijing-drafted national security law. According to Beijing, the legislation criminalizes activities related to terrorism, separatism, subversion of state power and collusion with foreign forces, while local pro-democracy activists and certain Western nations claim that the law undermines Hong Kong's civil liberties and democratic freedoms.