Four of the most visible demonstrators who participated in the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong last year have been released by police shortly after turning themselves into police and admitting their role in the peaceful rallies. Among them was Joshua Wong, the 18-year-old face of the Umbrella Revolution, which sought to defend Hong Kong from election regulations imposed by Beijing.
“I was held for three hours and I was arrested on charges of calling for, inciting and participating in an unauthorized assembly,” Wong told the AFP after being released from a police station Friday.
The September protests brought the semiautonomous Hong Kong to a halt for two weeks, with demonstrators demanding that anyone be permitted to lead Hong Kong. The current situation allows Hong Kong voters to only select from a number of politicians already authorized by mainland China.
Wong, who was met by a crowd of supporters, told reporters he did not answer any questions from police. They did, however, show him 17 video clips taken from YouTube and press reports featuring him at the center of the protests, according to the South China Morning Post.
Even though he was released without charges, he said, the authorities told him “there is still a chance for prosecution.” Wong also said he refused to be bound by bail, and police confirmed to the SCMP they “reserve the right to prosecute.”
Oscar Lai, Agnes Chow and Derek Lam, three of the other student leaders, were also released without charges after being arrested on suspicion of participating in illegal gatherings.