Hong Kong police make first arrests under new security law

A protester holds a Hong Kong independence flag during the demonstration.

Hong Kong police announced Wednesday that they had made their first arrests for violations of China’s new national security law.

The law, which China’s top legislative decision-making body passed on Tuesday, says that anyone “undermining national unification” between Hong Kong and mainland China faces up to life in prison.

The law would have covered many of the pro-democracy protests that have been taking place in Hong Kong since last year. Still, demonstrators chanted slogans such as “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong” in the streets on Wednesday, marking the 23rd anniversary of the former British colony’s 1997 handover from the U.K. to Chinese rule.

Police said more than 70 people were arrested for participating in “unauthorized assemblies.”

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