Hong Kong activist accused of subversion may face rioting charge over 2019 storming of legislature

Hong Kong activist Owen Chow, who was one of more than 50 democrats arrested for alleged subversion under the national security law last ...


Hong Kong activist Owen Chow, who was one of more than 50 democrats arrested for alleged subversion under the national security law last month, may face an additional charge of rioting related to the storming of the Legislative Council (LegCo) chamber in July 2019.

According to Chow on Facebook, police arrested him for rioting when he reported to a station on Wednesday to extend his bail on the subversion charge. The 24-year-old was among 55 democrats rounded up on January 6 under the Beijing-imposed security law.

A total of 52 of them including Chow had their bail extended until April 8 and none have yet been charged under the security law. Three remain in custody in connection with other cases.

Owen Chow outside Tsing Yi Police station on February 10, 2021. Photo: Owen Chow, via Facebook.

Chow said officers from the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau alleged he was linked to the breaking in at LegCo on July 1, 2019 and to acts of vandalism inside the building. He told local media that police had obtained his fingerprints during last month’s arrest, which allegedly matched some of those taken in LegCo.

Hundreds of pro-democracy protesters stormed the city’s legislature by smashing glass doors during the early days of the anti-extradition bill protests. As police withdrew, they vandalised the building by scrawling slogans on the walls with spray paint, while others defaced the HKSAR emblem and tore up a copy of the Basic Law.

Chow was released on bail of HK$10,000 without being charged and must report to police again on the rioting case on March 24. He said it was “very unforgettable” to be arrested for rioting on his birthday, and thanked friends and supporters who brought a cake when they picked him up from the police station.

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Newsrust: Hong Kong activist accused of subversion may face rioting charge over 2019 storming of legislature
Hong Kong activist accused of subversion may face rioting charge over 2019 storming of legislature
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