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Four arrested in Hong Kong under new Chinese law

<p class="p1">Hong Kong's new police unit enforcing the national security law imposed in the city by China arrested four student members of a pro-independence group, it was reported today.</p>
<p class="p1">The arrests of the suspects, aged 16 to 21, yesterday marked the first such crackdown on anti-government activists not at the scene of street protests since the legislation came into effect on June 30, reports the South China Morning Post (SCMP) newspaper.</p>
<p class="p1">Police did not reveal the suspects' identities, but images posted online showed Tony Chung, one of the former convenors of the group Studentlocalism, being taken away in handcuffs.</p>
<p class="p1">Studentlocalism was a pro-independence group that was disbanded on June 30, hours before the Beijing-imposed national security law came into effect, banning acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with a foreign country to endanger national security.</p>
<p class="p1">The press conference, Senior Superintendent Steve Li of the National Security Department under the police force said the suspects' group had recently declared the establishment of a body to promote pro-independence political ideals "using any means possible" and build a "Republic of Hong Kong".</p>
<p class="p1">Previous arrests under the national security law have been made at protests over slogan shouting and flag-waving.</p>
<p class="p1">Earlier this month, a 23-year-old man became the first person charged under the new national security law for allegedly riding into a group of policemen during a protest while carrying a flag calling for the liberation of Hong Kong.</p>
<p class="p1">He was officially charged with one count of inciting secession and another of terrorism.</p>
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