- Chief executive tells education minister Kevin Yeung to ‘seriously follow up’ on any educators who are arrested
- Lam expresses concern over number of students detained over past six months
A teacher and six students who were among 12 people arrested on weapons offences were still in police custody on Tuesday, as Hong Kong's embattled leader told the city's education minister to "seriously follow up" on any educators arrested during anti-government protests.
Speaking before attending an Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor also urged schools to stop their students from taking part in "illegal activities".
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She also expressed concern over the arrest of 2,393 students " about 40 per cent of the more than 6,000 people taken into custody during six months of social unrest.
Lam said those arrested included pupils from more than 300 secondary schools.
"Violence entering into school campus poses safety concerns for schools, parents and students," she said. "I have requested the Secretary for Education (Kevin Yeung Yun-hung) to seriously follow up on the teachers who are arrested."
She called on all schools to stop students from taking part in unlawful protests, and ask them to distance themselves from violent scenes as requested in a letter from Yeung on November 21.
In the early hours of Monday, police arrested 10 men and two women at a car park in Tin Ping Estate in Sheung Shui, and seized home-made weapons including tubes with studs in them, and cans of petrol. The suspects were aged between 14 and 39, and included a teacher and six students, although a police source said the teacher and students were not from the same schools.
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Officers believe the suspects gathered at the car park, and planned to set up roadblocks as part of the citywide strike that had been called for later that morning.
Those arrested were taken into custody on suspicion of unlawful assembly and possession of instruments fit for unlawful purpose.
As of 1pm on Tuesday, they were still being held for questioning and none had been charged.
Speaking at a police briefing on Monday, Chief Superintendent Kenneth Kwok Ka-chuen said officers were alarmed by the presence of a teacher among those they arrested.
"Teachers are supposed to nurture young talents and groom them into future leaders," he said. "They certainly should make a clear stance against violence, and do all they can to prevent students from continuing with these destructive acts, instead of leading them to do so."
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As of Monday, police had arrested 6,022 people aged from 11 to 84 since June, when the social unrest sparked by opposition to the now-withdrawn extradition bill began. Of those, 956 people have been prosecuted.
Yesterday five Hong Kong men, who allegedly planned to station a gunman at a strategic site ahead of last Sunday's anti-government march and "slaughter" police officers along the protest route, appeared in court.
The defendants were charged at Eastern Court on Monday were among 11 suspects arrested a day earlier, in what police described as the first protest-related case where a gun had been seized.
During the violent protests, police have fired nearly 16,000 rounds of tear gas, more than 10,000 rubber bullets, about 2,000 beanbag rounds and more than 1,850 sponge-tipped rounds. Two protesters have also been shot with live rounds.
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