HONG KONG: Hong Kong police on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, arrested four members of the group behind the city's Tiananmen Square vigils, a day after they refused to cooperate with a national security investigation.
The Hong Kong Alliance is the latest target of a sweeping national security law that China imposed on the city last year to quash dissent after huge and often violent democracy protests.
Prominent barrister Chow Hang-tung, vice-chairwoman of the alliance, was led away by security police in handcuffs from her office building in the city's central business district.
Three other members of the group -- Simon Leung, Sean Tang and Chan To-wai -- were arrested on Wednesday morning, the alliance said in a statement.
Police confirmed that they arrested three men and one woman for "not providing information" according to the national security law.
The alliance is one of several pro-democracy groups being investigated by the city's newly created national security unit.
Last month, police ordered the group to hand over financial and operational details, accusing it of working as a "foreign agent".
The request included the personal details of all members since its founding in 1989, all meeting minutes, financial records and any exchanges with other NGOs advocating for democracy and human rights in China.
On Tuesday, the deadline for the request, members of the alliance handed police a letter saying the request was illegal, arbitrary and that no evidence of their wrongdoing had been presented.
The alliance also rejected the accusation that they are foreign agents, saying they are a domestic group that campaigns for Hong Kongers.
"Any law enforcement actions taken by the law enforcement agencies are based on evidence, strictly according to the law," the Security Bureau said after the arrests, warning that those who refuse to cooperate face fines and up to six months in jail.