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15-year-old among 5 arrested under Hong Kong security law: Police

15-year-old among 5 arrested under Hong Kong security law: Police

Staff members raise Chinese and Hong Kong flags at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, Mar 30, 2021. (File photo: REUTERS/Lam Yik)

HONG KONG: A 15-year-old was among five people arrested in Hong Kong under a sweeping national security law, police said on Thursday (May 6), with local press reporting social media posts sparked their detention.

Officers from a specialist team in the financial hub arrested four men and one woman aged between 15 and 24 on suspicion of subversion.

Local reports said three of those detained were scooped up on Thursday morning during raids looking for members of a group called "Returning Valiant".

"Their comments left on social media could constitute the offences of secession and subversion under the national security law," a police source told the South China Morning Post daily.

READ: 'Stand tall': Hong Kong media tycoon Lai writes letter from jail

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It was reported the raids stemmed from a burglary probe in which four others were arrested.

A statement posted on Facebook by "Returning Valiant" said some of its members were arrested under the national security law and that lawyers were looking into the situation.

"Political suppression will not make us step back ... We will continue to fight against the tyranny," the statement added.

Beijing blanketed Hong Kong in a sweeping national security law late last June in response to months of massive and often violent democracy protests that convulsed the city.

READ: Hong Kong democracy activists' bail hearing enters third day

READ: Security tight as crowds gather outside Hong Kong court for subversion hearing

In July, four students including a 16-year-old were arrested over social media posts deemed to incite secession.

So far over 100 people - mostly pro-democracy politicians and opposition figures, have also been arrested under the new law targeting acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and foreign collusion.

More than half of them have been prosecuted under the draconian law, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment if convicted.

Source: AFP/ga

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