Hong Kong (AP) — A prominent Hong Kong singer and democratic activist was arrested on Monday by a city anti-corruption observer for singing and violating the law at a political rally three years ago.
Arrest of Anthony Wong in the latest official move against those who were promoting greater democracy in semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
Hong Kong’s Anti-Corruption Independent Commission said Wong played two songs at the 2018 rally and urged attendees to vote for democratic candidate Onokhin in the by-elections.
Watchdog also charged Au, who won the election, for promoting the rally on social media and saying that Wong would appear.
Watchdog said in a statement that providing snacks and entertainment to others at election events was “corruption and serious crime” and violated election regulations.
Local media reported that Wong was released on bail. Meanwhile, Au has been in jail since March. Au was one of 47 democratic activists arrested on suspicion of capsizing in an informal primary last year.
The arrest was triggered by concerns that the former British colony had lost the freedom promised when it was handed over to Chinese control in 1997, following a 2019 rebel protest in Hong Kong by authorities. It happens when you crack down on an objection in.
Beijing last year imposed a drastic national security law that has been used to arrest more than 100 democratic promoters. Changes have also been made to Hong Kong’s election law, primarily to reduce the number of directly elected members and give the pro-Beijing Commission room to appoint members to partner with Beijing.
The crackdown has been criticized by many governments around the world.
Wong gained fame as a vocalist of the Tat Ming Pair of pop duo in the 1980s and later embarked on a solo career.
He became a frank supporter of the city’s democratic movement, supporting the 2019 protest and the so-called umbrella revolutionary protest that struck the city in 2014. His support for the 2014 protest led to a ban on performances in mainland China, and music was removed from his streaming site.