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Hong Kong sees 'ideologies' as risks to national security; 6 more held under strict Chinese law

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has urged parents, teachers and religious leaders to observe the behaviours of teenagers and report those who break the law to the authorities. 

Hong Kong sees 'ideologies' as risks to national security; 6 more held under strict Chinese law-VPN
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Hong Kong, First Published Jul 6, 2021, 7:07 PM IST
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Hong Kong sees 'ideologies' as risks to national security; 6 more held under strict Chinese law

Hong Kong police have arrested nine people, including six secondary school students, for suspicious terrorist activities under the strict national security law imposed by China on the region last year. 

Police at a press briefing said those arrested were aged 15-39 and included a university management-level employee, a school teacher and an unemployed person. 

Officers also froze bank funds of HK$600,000 ($77,238) along with cash. They also seized triacetone triperoxide in a hostel room described by police as a laboratory for bomb-making equipment to deploy at a cross-harbour tunnel, railways, courtrooms and rubbish bins.

TATP has been used on attacks by extremists in London and Israel. Police reported that the group, called Returning Valiant, had been renting the room for a month in the Tsim Sha Tsui.

Senior Superintendent Steve Li said those arrested had a good division of labour. Some of them provided money. Some are the scientists -- the ones who made the TATP in the room.

There was also a surveying team and an action team, which is responsible for laying the bombs." 

Li said that the members of the group had deliberately recruited students who planned to leave the region permanently.

Authorities have repeatedly said that the new law, imposed last year, has "restored stability". 

Numerous governments and human rights groups have criticised the law. The law has been branded as trying to crush dissent and opposition in the region -- something China rejects.

The incident comes when Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said that 'ideologies' pose risks to national security. 

She urged parents, teachers and religious leaders to observe the behaviours of teenagers and report those who break the law to the authorities. 

At her weekly news conference, Lam was dismayed at some residents mourning the death of a 50-year-old citizen who stabbed a policeman before committing suicide on July 1, the anniversary of the region being given back to China. 

Lam said to reporters, "For a long time, citizens have been exposed to wrong ideas, such as achieving justice through illegal means," and added that national security risks stemmed not only from "public order acts but also from ideology."

Lam said, government departments "should not allow illegal ideas to filter through to the public through education, broadcasting, arts and culture, beautifying violence and clouding the conscience of the public," and further said, "I also call on parents, principals, teachers, and even pastors to observe acts of teenagers around them. If some teens are found to be committing illegal acts, they must be reported." 

Police and security officials deemed the stabbing of 28-year-old police officers a lone wolf terrorist attack based on unspecified materials found on the attacker's computer. 

Citizens went to the attack scene to pay respects to the attacker and lay flowers which drew criticism and condemnation from Lam and other officials. Lam said that residents should not believe messages online that suggest the government was responsible for the attack or slogans that say "there is no violence, only tyranny". 

She added, "Do not look for excuses on behalf of the violent."

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