Hong Kong student pro-democracy leader Joshua Wong was released from custody yesterday just before midnight after being detained for running onto a motorway to intercept Zhang Dejiang’s motorcade.
The move came on the final day of a three-day trip by Zhang, who chairs China’s communist-controlled legislature, for which frustrated protesters have been kept out of sight behind barricades in a security lockdown.
Police chased a group of five protesters, including Wong, yesterday as they ran along a major highway in eastern Hong Kong which had been cleared for Zhang. They were carrying a sign calling for “self-determination”.
The protesters were all members of Demosistō, a political party led by Wong, who became the face of major pro-democracy rallies in 2014.
They were detained before Zhang’s motorcade emerged from a tunnel.
Yesterday morning, Demosistō made a Facebook post announcing that their members were arrested.
“The five arrested persons were released on bail and will need to report back to police in mid-June,” a police spokeswoman told AFP, adding that charges had not been laid.
They were arrested for “obstructing police officer in the execution of duty and disorderly conduct in a public place”, she said.
Demosistō said Wong, who already faces two imminent verdicts and a possible prison sentence for the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests, was released on a HKD500 bail.
He has been in and out of court hearings for the past year after being charged with multiple offences linked the 2014 protests.
Wong faces charges of taking part in an unlawful assembly and inciting others to do so, which carry a jail term of up to five years.
The 19-year-old has always argued that the cases against him are political persecution.
Words: AFP, with additional reporting by Coconuts HK