After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) violated the international treaty protecting democratic freedom in Hong Kong, it began a drastic repression against all the prominent activists who protested in defense of their rights.
The raids increased after the imposition of a security law that left citizens defenseless against the CCP. Fifty-five of them were arrested on Jan. 6 and along with them about 200 cellphones and computers were confiscated, including those of their wives or politically inactive husbands, according to The Washington Post on Jan. 12.
It seems that what the CCP wants to discover are the supreme leaders of Hong Kong’s freedom movement, which was announced as spontaneous and without leaders.
The next step for the CCP is to send the seized computer equipment to the mainland, to uncover contact details and investigate them, and eventually imprison them, according to a series of tweets by journalist Shibani Mahtani.
“There were many likely reasons behind last week’s mass round up of pro-democracy activists—intimidation, passport seizures—but a key one: collecting their devices. Police have started sending these to the mainland for data extraction, say 2 sources,” Mahtani wrote.
She added, “People familiar w/the thinking of the police & Beijing counterparts say they remain unconvinced that the HK protests were leaderless, and now are determined to network what they believe will be a map of opposition leaders with influence.”
There were many likely reasons behind last week's mass round up of pro-democracy activists — intimidation, passport seizures — but a key one: collecting their devices. Police have started sending these to the mainland for data extraction, say 2 sources:https://t.co/sV0h9Z4MRQ
— Shibani Mahtani (@ShibaniMahtani) January 12, 2021
The CCP has been the object of much criticism and complaints from the countries’ foreign ministers and their counterparts, who support Hong Kong regaining its freedom, mainly the United States, Australia, Canada, and the UK.
“It is clear that the national security law is being used to eliminate dissent and opposing political views,” the leaders of these four nations said in a joint statement issued Jan. 10, according to The Canadian Press.
They added, “We call on the Hong Kong and Chinese central authorities to respect the legally guaranteed rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong without fear of arrest and detention.”
The signatories of the declaration are Marise Payne of Australia, Francois-Philippe Champagne of Canada, Dominic Raab of the United Kingdom, and Mike Pompeo of the United States.
The Trump administration sanctioned many of the CCP leaders in Hong Kong for their interference in the persecution of pro-freedom advocates, and stripped the city of the privileges granted under its now-lost democracy.