Man arrested after police receive tip about protest banner airing on laundry rack

A pedestrian reported the banner hanging on the drying rack of a man’s flat in Mong Kok. Photo: Google Maps
A pedestrian reported the banner hanging on the drying rack of a man’s flat in Mong Kok. Photo: Google Maps

A man who had a pro-democracy banner on a laundry rack outside his Mong Kok apartment was arrested Monday after a passerby alerted police.

Police said they received a report about the banner, with the protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” written on it in Chinese, outside the tenement building’s window on Fife Street.

Often chanted during the anti-extradition protests in 2019, the slogan has since been deemed illegal under the national security law. According to a government statement published last July, the wording has connotations with Hong Kong independence and subversion of state power.

Read more: Hong Kong bottled water with motivational quotes yanked off shelves for ‘sensitive’ slogans

The 40-year-old man, surnamed Law, was arrested for “uttering seditious words.” The colonial-era offense also saw a pro-democracy activist and former radio host, Tam Tak-chi, arrested and detained last summer.

According to Stand News, around 20 police officers arrived at the tenement block around 5 pm. Officers entered the building, where they removed the flag and gathered evidence. The apartment’s residents were barred from entering their homes and had to be escorted by police, while plainclothes officers outside took pictures.

Police said the banner measured 125 cm by 80 cm, and that they have no information on whether it belongs to the man.

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