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Protests erupt after 47 Hong Kong opposition leaders charged under China's new National Security Law

"We have long before decided not to bow to authoritarianism," said activist Lester Shum, among those charged Sunday.

Updated: March 1, 2021 - 5:34pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Hong Kong authorities Sunday charged dozens of pro-democracy figures with violating China's new National Security Law, sparking large protests in the territory, which has come under increased control by the Chinese Communist Party.

Hundreds of protesters came out in support of the 47 opposition leaders and pro-democracy activists charged with breaking the National Security Law, imposed amid the pro-democracy protests that started in Hong Kong in 2019.

The protests were the largest in Hong Kong in months, due to restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some protesters held signs in support of those charged, while others chanted: "Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution in our Time."

Before Sunday, few had been charged with violating the law, although almost 100 have been arrested on suspicion of doing so. The most recent group was charged with one count of "conspiracy to commit subversion."

Authorities argued those recently charged subverted the new law last year when they helped organize an informal election primary for Hong Kong's pro-democratic political camp, according to The New York Times.

"We have long before decided not to bow to authoritarianism," said Lester Shum, among the activists recently charged.

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