Three founders of Hong Kong’s Occupy protest movement, joined by retired Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen, 82, have been released without restrictions after they “surrendered” to police yesterday, Dec. 3, Channel News Asia reported.
Protesters flocked to Hong Kong’s central district in late September and blocked three major intersections to demand free elections in the special administrative region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China after the government announced its decision to screen presidential candidates in the 2017 elections.
Cardinal Zen has been quoted telling a pro-democracy demonstration earlier this year that it is time for Hong Kong people to show that they “no longer want to be slaves.” Last Sept. 28, he urged protesting students who had gathered at a public square to go home and continue protesting in other forms after police sprayed the crowd with tear gas.
Cardinal John Tong-hon of Hong Kong had appealed to the Hong Kong-SAR government to exercise restraint on the second day of the demonstration, after police sprayed tear gas on those protesters. He also appealed to the tens of thousands of protesters, including young students, to keep calm, as he urged Christians to pray for peaceful reconciliation of the conflicting parties in the protests.
Hong Kong and Chinese authorities have not issued a warrant of arrest for protest leaders even after officials had called the protests illegal.
What now for the quest for peaceful reconciliation and democracy in Hong Kong and China?
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