HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong police said on Tuesday they had arrested a 41-year-old man for suspected sedition and money laundering, whom local media identified as singer Tommy Yuen.
The Hong Kong police’s national security department confirmed that a 41-year-old had been arrested for public comments and online posts that authorities deemed carried “seditious intent”.
“He hoped to incite hatred towards the Hong Kong government … and to stoke discontent among the Hong Kong public,” senior superintendent Steve Li told reporters. He declined to confirm whether the arrested man was Yuen.
Yuen couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
Last November, Li said the man had performed a song broadcast live online with the words “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our Time,” a popular protest slogan during the city’s protracted 2019 pro-democracy protests.
Li said this slogan had already been found by a Hong Kong court to be capable of inciting people to commit secession in the city’s first national security case last year involving a former waiter, Tong Ying-kit, who was jailed for nine years.
Another man was also arrested by police, Li added, in connection with the case, that also involved suspected money laundering.
Yuen is well known in Hong Kong for his advocacy of democratic causes including during live concerts and protest marches. His Facebook page carries the words “We Die for Fight”.
China imposed a national security law on Hong Kong in June 2020 punishing acts of subversion, terrorism, collusion with foreign forces and secession with possible life imprisonment.
Critics, including Western governments, say the law has been used to silence dissent, with scores of pro-democracy campaigners arrested, civil society groups disbanded and free speech curtailed.
Hong Kong and Chinese authorities say the law has brought stability to the city after mass anti-government protests.
Another Hong Kong pop star, Denise Ho, was detained by police in December for a separate national security case, but released on police bail pending further investigations.
(Reporting by James Pomfret and Hong Kong newsroom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)