Protesters in Taiwan Photograph:( Reuters )
The 12 were allegedly traveling illegally by boat to Taiwan when Chinese authorities detained them
Hundreds of people marched in Taiwan's capital to demand the release of 12 Hong Kong anti-government protesters who were arrested by mainland Chinese authorities in August.
The 12 were allegedly traveling illegally by boat to Taiwan when Chinese authorities detained them. They were also reportedly suspected of committing crimes including manufacturing or possessing explosives, arson, and rioting in Hong Kong.
They are now facing formal charges for illegal border crossings in Shenzhen, a southern Chinese city that borders Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
Many demonstrators wore black shirts, with some holding signs demanding "immediate release" for the 12 and others waving yellow umbrellas, a symbol of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.
In the crowd in Taipei on Sunday were activists from several Taiwanese organizations, as well as other residents of the self-ruled democratic island and many Hong Kongers.
Prominent Hong Kong activists Joshua Wong and Nathan Law helped launch the campaign on social media.
Thank you for all my friends who came to the London rally yesterday in support of the #save12hkyouths campaign. Really thrilled to be able to give a speech in Cantonese to our beloved Hong Kong people again.— Nathan Law 羅冠聰 😷 (@nathanlawkc) October 25, 2020
Some also vowed their support to #StandWithThailand. Democracy prevails pic.twitter.com/sf2jH86doQ
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said the 12 would have to face justice in the mainland and that her government will provide them with "needed and feasible" assistance.
Ten of them were on bail and not allowed to leave Hong Kong.
Taiwan shares with the Hong Kong protesters a deep antipathy for Beijing, which considers Taiwan its territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in May became the first government leader globally to pledge measures to help Hong Kong people who leave due to what they see as tightening Chinese controls.
This, however, has further strained Taipei's already poor ties with Beijing, which has ramped up military activities near Taiwan.