This will have far-reaching implications for Hong Kong. Not only is the city home to pro-democracy activists (and the site of a recent boom in the union movement), it has long been a haven for Chinese labor organizations and dissidents, as well as protection for immigrants, refugees, gays and lesbians in Hong Kong and across borders. , sex workers and other groups. Media from around the world, including China, are also headquartered in Hong Kong. Even recently, these people are still working relatively freely in Hong Kong. They are able to criticize the government without fear of government retaliation.
However, if the whatsapp database new laws are similar to those in the mainland, this period of freedom will soon be over. Already, anticipating increased surveillance, some Hong Kongers rushed to download VPNs, shut down their social media accounts and clean up their public profiles, leaving no trace of political defiance. The crisis is not empty talk. In recent weeks, under the cover of the new crown virus epidemic, Hong Kong police have arrested hundreds of pro-democracy protesters, as well as high-profile social activists, on charges ranging from misconduct in public places to violating epidemic prevention " measures to limit gatherings.
Police pepper spray journalists covering the demonstrations, forcing them from the road onto the sidewalk, with one photojournalist saying she was "choked in the throat". This followed nearly a year of protests in which more than 8,000 people were arrested, including a 10-year-old child (Editor's note: The incident took place on September 21, 2019, which police later referred to as the arrested teenager 13 age). Some demonstrators later accused them of being tortured and sexually assaulted in custody.