Hundreds rally in Taiwan, call for release of 12 Hong Kong people arrested by China

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Hundreds of people rallied in Taiwan’s capital on Sunday to call for China to release 12 Hong Kong people arrested at sea by mainland authorities in part of a global campaign to support the pro-democracy movement in the financial hub.

The 12 were arrested on Aug. 23 for alleged illegal entry into mainland China after setting off from Hong Kong in a boat bound for democratic Taiwan, amid a crackdown by Beijing on pro-democracy activists in the former British colony.

Hong Kong’s Security Bureau has said all 12 were suspected of committing crimes including manufacturing or possessing explosives, arson and rioting in Hong Kong.

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.

“We want the Chinese Communist Party to know the entire world is paying attention to the 12 people so that they can’t act unjustly,” said Roger, a frontline protester in Hong Kong’s sometimes violent rallies who fled to Taiwan last year. He asked that his full name not be used.

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