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Two 13-Year-Olds Were Just Arrested in the Hong Kong Protests

Since June, over 30 people aged between 12 and 15 have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the ongoing protests.
23 September 2019, 4:40am
hong kong protests young arrest
Photo via Flickr user Etam Lim.

As pro-democracy rallies in Hong Kong continue, so do arrests of its young protesters. On Saturday, this included two 13-year-olds.

One of the teenagers, a boy only known by his surname Kong, was arrested on Sept. 21, in the town of Tseung Kwan O for “possession of offensive weapons,” according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP). This came after police allegedly found him at a protest with a can of spray paint and a laser pen. He was arrested alongside a 19-year-old, only identified by his last name Chan. The two allegedly pointed their lasers at the police.

In a separate incident on the same day, a girl who has not been named was arrested in Tuen Mun town for allegedly burning the Chinese flag. Both the girl and Kong were released on bail on Sept. 22.

Since June 9, over 30 people aged between 12 and 15 have been arrested by the Hong Kong police for their alleged involvement in the protests.

The arrest of minors have been largely arbitrary, lawyer Billy Li on-yin told the SCMP. “Minors are less informed about their rights when they are under arrests, however, which makes the situation more concerning,” said Li.

In August, a 12-year-old was arrested during a violent anti-government protest in Tsuen Wan. That same month, a 14-year-old was arrested for taking part in an unlawful assembly near the Tsim Sha Tsui police station.

The Hong Kong rallies are now in their sixteenth consecutive week, with anti-government protesters continuing to fight for greater autonomy from the mainland, even though the much-contested extradition bill has officially been withdrawn.

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This article originally appeared on VICE ASIA.