China claims 12 detained Hongkongers are ‘separatists,’ as democrat warns they may become diplomatic ‘bargaining chips’ | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

The authorities in Shenzhen have confirmed that 12 Hongkongers – who were intercepted whilst trying to flee by boat to Taiwan – are under criminal detention. It is the first official update in the 20 days since their arrest, with a Chinese spokesperson claiming on Sunday that the detainees are “separatists.”

The Yantian division of Shenzhen’s public security bureau announced on Weibo that the group are currently being held under compulsory criminal detention measures after they allegedly crossed the border illegally.

Photo: Yantian Public Security Division of the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau, via Weibo.

“The investigation of the case is under process, the public security bureau will protect the suspects’ legitimate rights in accordance with the law,” the post on Sunday read.

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