Hong Kong democracy activists get bail, protest march banned

FILE - In this June 21, 2019, file photo, pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, center left, speaks as protesters surround the police headquarters in Hong Kong. Demosisto, a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong, posted on its social media accounts that well-known activist Wong had been pushed into a private car around 7:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 and was taken to police headquarters. It later said another member, Agnes Chow, had also been arrested, at her home. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)
FILE - In this June 18, 2019, file photo, pro-democracy activists Agnes Chow, right, and Joshua Wong speak to the media outside government office in Hong Kong. Demosisto, a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong posted on its social media accounts that well-known activist Joshua Wong had been pushed into a private car around 7:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 and was taken to police headquarters. It later said another member, Agnes Chow, had been arrested as well. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)
In this June 18, 2019, photo, pro-democracy activists Agnes Chow, right, and Joshua Wong meet media outside government office in Hong Kong. Demosisto, a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong posted on its social media accounts that well-known activist Joshua Wong had been pushed into a private car around 7:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 and was taken to police headquarters. It later said another member, Agnes Chow, had been arrested as well. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Issac Cheng, vice-chairperson of Demosisto, speaks to reporters in Hong Kong Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Demosisto, a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong, posted on its social media accounts that well-known activist Wong had been pushed into a private car around 7:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 and was taken to police headquarters. It later said another member, Agnes Chow, had also been arrested, at her home. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
In this June 18, 2019, photo, pro-democracy activists Agnes Chow, right, and Joshua Wong meet media outside government office in Hong Kong. Demosisto, a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong posted on its social media accounts that well-known activist Joshua Wong had been pushed into a private car around 7:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 and was taken to police headquarters. It later said another member, Agnes Chow, had been arrested as well. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, right, and Agnes Chow speak to media outside a district court in Hong Kong, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Wong and Chow were granted bail Friday after being charged with inciting people to join a protest in June, while authorities denied permission for a major march in what appears to be a harder line on this summer's protests. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, right, and Agnes Chow speak to media outside a district court in Hong Kong, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Wong and Chow were granted bail Friday after being charged with inciting people to join a protest in June, while authorities denied permission for a major march in what appears to be a harder line on this summer's protests. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this June 21, 2019, photo, pro-democracy activists Agnes Chow, left, and Joshua Wong march to police headquarters in Hong Kong. Demosisto, a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong posted on its social media accounts that well-known activist Joshua Wong had been pushed into a private car around 7:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 and was taken to police headquarters. It later said another member, Agnes Chow, had been arrested as well. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Issac Cheng, vice-chairperson of Demosisto, wearing glasses, stands with other members before a press conference in Hong Kong Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Demosisto, a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong, posted on its social media accounts that well-known activist Wong had been pushed into a private car around 7:30 a.m. Friday and was taken to police headquarters. It later said another member, Agnes Chow, had also been arrested, at her home. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, right, and Agnes Chow speak to media outside a district court in Hong Kong, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Wong and Chow were granted bail Friday after being charged with inciting people to join a protest in June, while authorities denied permission for a major march in what appears to be a harder line on this summer's protests. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
In this June 18, 2019, photo, pro-democracy activists Agnes Chow, right, and Joshua Wong meet media outside government office in Hong Kong. Demosisto, a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong posted on its social media accounts that well-known activist Joshua Wong had been pushed into a private car around 7:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 and was taken to police headquarters. It later said another member, Agnes Chow, had been arrested as well. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, left, and Agnes Chow, are escorted in a police van at a district court in Hong Kong, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Hong Kong police arrested well-known activist Wong and Chow, another core member of a pro-democracy group, Friday, and authorities denied permission for a major march in what appears to a harder line on this summer's protests. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, right, and Agnes Chow speak to media outside a district court in Hong Kong, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Wong and Chow were granted bail Friday after being charged with inciting people to join a protest in June, while authorities denied permission for a major march in what appears to be a harder line on this summer's protests. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
FILE - In this June 17, 2019, file photo, pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong speaks to protesters near the Legislative Council following a massive protest against the unpopular extradition bill in Hong Kong. Demosisto, a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong posted on its social media accounts that well-known activist Joshua Wong had been pushed into a private car around 7:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 and was taken to police headquarters. It later said another member, Agnes Chow, had been arrested as well. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2018, file photo, Agnes Chow, a member of democracy activist Joshua Wong's Demosisto party, attends a protest in Hong Kong. Demosisto, a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong posted on its social media accounts that well-known activist Joshua Wong had been pushed into a private car around 7:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 and was taken to police headquarters. It later said another member, Agnes Chow, had been arrested as well. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)
Issac Cheng, vice-chairperson of Demosisto, center, speaks to reporters in Hong Kong Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Demosisto, a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong, posted on its social media accounts that well-known activist Wong had been pushed into a private car around 7:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 and was taken to police headquarters. It later said another member, Agnes Chow, had also been arrested, at her home. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, right, and Agnes Chow speak to media outside a district court in Hong Kong, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Wong and Chow were granted bail Friday after being charged with inciting people to join a protest in June, while authorities denied permission for a major march in what appears to be a harder line on this summer's protests. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

HONG KONG — Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong and another core member of a pro-democracy group were granted bail Friday after being charged with inciting people to join a protest in June, while authorities denied permission for a major march as they took what appears to be a harder line on this summer's protests.

The organizers of Saturday's march, the fifth anniversary of a decision by China against allowing fully democratic elections for the leader of Hong Kong, said they were calling it off after an appeals board denied permission. It was unclear whether some protesters would still demonstrate on their own.

The police commander of Hong Kong island, Kwok Pak Chung, appealed to people to stay away from any non-authorized rallies, warning that those caught could face a five-year jail term.

He told a daily news conference that he was aware of social media messages urging people to take strolls or hold rallies in the name of religion. Kwok urged the public to "make a clear break with all acts of violence and stay away from locations where violent clashes may take place."

Police have been rejecting more applications for rallies and marches, citing violence at or after earlier ones. They also are arresting people for protests earlier this summer, a step they said was a natural development as investigations were completed.

Andy Chan, the leader of a pro-independence movement, was arrested at the airport Thursday night under suspicion of rioting and attacking police. Three other protesters were taken in earlier this week for alleged involvement in the storming of the legislative building on July 1, when protesters broke in and vandalized the main chamber.

A leader of the Civil Human Rights Front, which had called Saturday's march, said that Hong Kong residents would have to think about other ways to voice their anger if the police keep banning protests.

"The first priority of the Civil Human Rights Front is to make sure that all of the participants who participate in our marches will be physically and legally safe. That's our first priority," said Bonnie Leung. "And because of the decision made by the appeal board, we feel very sorry but we have no choice but to cancel the march."

Police arrested Wong and Agnes Chow on Friday morning, both 22 and members of pro-democracy group Demosisto.

Wong, one of the student leaders of the Umbrella Movement in 2014, was released from prison in June after serving a two-month sentence related to that major pro-democracy protest. He has been speaking out regularly in support of the pro-democracy protests that have racked Hong Kong this summer.

They were later charged with participating in and inciting others to join an unauthorized protest outside a police station on June 21. Wong was also charged with organizing it.

"We will continue our fight no matter how they arrest and prosecute us," Wong told reporters outside a courthouse after they were released on bail.

The protests were set off by extradition legislation that would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China to face trial and expanded to general concerns that China is chipping away at the rights of Hong Kong residents.

The extradition bill was suspended but the protesters want it withdrawn and are also demanding democracy and an independent inquiry into police actions against protesters.

Demosisto first reported the arrests on its social media accounts, saying Wong was pushed into a private car as he was heading to a subway station around 7:30 a.m. and was taken to police headquarters. It later said Chow had also been arrested, at her home.

Chow echoed Wong's comments, saying "we Hong Kong people won't give up and won't be scared ... we will keep fighting for democracy."

___

Associated Press writers Yanan Wang in Beijing and Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and videojouranalist Johnson Lai in Hong Kong contributed to this story.

Must Read

Giant panda is no longer endangered, experts say

Sep 5, 2016

A leading international group has taken the giant panda off its endangered list thanks to decades...

Merkel appeals to Russia to enable Syria...

Sep 5, 2016

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is renewing an appeal to Russia to enable a cease-fire in Syria and...

China, Russia launch South China Sea naval war...

Sep 12, 2016

China's military says the Chinese and Russian navies are launching eight days of war games in the...

China says it can't end North Korea nuke program...

Sep 12, 2016

China says the United States has inflamed the conflict on the Korean Peninsula and must carry the...

2 dead after powerful typhoon sweeps through...

Sep 15, 2016

Officials say a powerful typhoon has swept into southeastern China after hitting Taiwan, leaving a...