Hong Kong national security police arrest jailed activist, 2 lawyers for allegedly trying to take complaint letter out of prison

Hong Kong national security police have arrested an opposition activist already remanded in custody and his two lawyers after the legal advisers allegedly tried to take a letter by their client complaining about prison authorities out of the facility without permission.

A post on the Facebook account of detained activist Owen Chow Ka-shing said he was arrested along with the lawyers on Tuesday after they tried to mail a complaint letter to the Ombudsman on Chow’s behalf.

“Earlier, Ka-sing wanted to write a letter of complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman after the Correctional Services Department stopped him from receiving books, as complaint letters were often not delivered due to the obstructions of correctional services personnel,” the post made on Thursday said. “Ka-sing attempted to mail a letter through his lawyers instead.”

Owen Chow was among 47 activists and former politicians charged by prosecutors over their roles in the Legislative Council. Photo: Facebook/Owen Chow

The Facebook post included an image of two books related to Buddhism stating they were the ones the department had prevented Chow from receiving.

By late Tuesday night, the post had been taken down.

Hong Kong activist back in custody after court finds bail breach

Police said national security department officers arrested three people on Tuesday morning for allegedly taking items out of a prison without permission. The force added those taken into custody were a 26-year-old man in detention and two women aged 29 and 30.

“The three people were suspected of taking away a document from a detention centre in Cheung Sha Wan earlier without the permission of relevant departments,” a statement said, without identifying the trio.

The force noted the two women were granted bail and must report to police later this month, while the man remained in detention.

‘Lethal weapon’: prosecutors take aim at 47 in Hong Kong national security trial

Chow was among 47 activists and former politicians charged by prosecutors over their roles in the Legislative Council primary in 2020, which was described as a “massive and well-organised” plot to paralyse the government and topple the city’s leader.

He was part of several defendants previously granted bail by the High Court, with a list of stringent conditions.

An image posted on Facebook that purports to show two books, related to Buddhism, that were allegedly kept from Owen Chow by the Correctional Services Department. Photo: Facebook/Owen Chow

The activist was released on June 22, 2021, on a HK$50,000 (US$6,410) bail, in addition to his elder sister paying a surety for the same amount. Conditions for his release included a ban on overseas travel, as well as running, organising and coordinating any elections.

He was later arrested in January 2022 for breaching his bail conditions when he reported back to North Point Police Station.

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