Hong Kong police have arrested a man on a London-bound flight on suspicion of stabbing a police officer during protests over the semi-autonomous Chinese territory’s new security law, officials said.
About 370 people were arrested during and after Wednesday’s protests against the law being imposed by China to curb activities surrounding anti-government protests that have been ongoing since June last year.
Ten were arrested on suspicion of violating the new security law, some of whom were in possession of paraphernalia that advocated Hong Kong’s independence.
The law came into effect on Tuesday and outlaws secessionist, subversive and terrorist acts, as well as any collusion with foreign forces when it comes to the intervening in the city’s affairs.
It has garnered concern from Hong Kong’s former colonial ruler Britain and other governments. Critics say the law effectively ends the “one country, two systems” framework under which the city was promised a high degree of autonomy when it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.
Police on Wednesday had posted a photo of a police officer bleeding from his arm, saying he was stabbed in the arm while making arrests during the protests and that the suspects had fled.
The 24-year-old man, surnamed Wong, was arrested on a Cathay Pacific flight bound for London, according to a police official.
Wong had purchased a ticket on Wednesday and boarded the flight with no check-in luggage, the official said. He did not respond to the air crew who called him by name, and was not at his designated seat. Police identified him after conducting a sweep of the plane.
Local media reported he was arrested after a relative tipped off police about his his travel plans.
Britain announced on Wednesday that it was extending residency rights for up to three million Hong Kongers eligible for a British national (overseas) passport, stressing it would uphold its historic duty to the former British colony.
Those eligible will be able to live and work in the UK for five years before applying for settled status and then again for citizenship.
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday that his government was considering a similar move, and Taiwan has opened an office to help Hong Kongers move to Taiwan for employment and other purposes.