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Source: New Zealand Government

The New Zealand Government is concerned that more than a dozen public figures and democracy advocates were arrested in Hong Kong over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.

“The arrest of 15 high-profile pro-democracy figures, including members of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, is very disappointing”, said Mr Peters. “The rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are enshrined in the Basic Law for all people of Hong Kong.”

On Saturday, Hong Kong Police arrested 15 pro-democracy activists and charged them with offences including organising and joining unlawful assemblies. The charges relate to pro-democracy protests in the city last year. Those arrested include former and current legislators such as Democratic Party founder Martin Lee, and trade union leader Lee Cheuk-yang.

“The arrests are especially disappointing at a time when we should be coming together internationally in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic”, said Mr Peters.