Two Hong Kong men have been arrested for disorderly conduct after they shot water guns at policemen during an event celebrating Songkran, the Thai new year.
The duo, both in their 20s, used the festival as a cover to target law enforcers, police said.The Sunday event was held in Kowloon City, a district where many Thais live.Traditionally during Songkran, water is splashed using buckets and squirt guns to drive away bad luck.
Hong Kong has seen an erosion of freedoms since Beijing imposed a national security law in 2020 that critics say is designed to squash dissent, and weaken Hong Kong’s autonomy.
The city is a Special Administrative Region of China. Under its “one country, two systems” principle, residents are supposed to enjoy certain freedoms unavailable on the mainland.
One of the two men runs a YouTube channel, the South China Morning Post reported citing police sources.
A video uploaded on 10 April shows a man in red firing a water gun at two policemen and reporters of TVB, which many consider pro-government.
Text on the video includes the words “Vs HK Po”, referring to the police, and an expletive directed at TVB, according to the Hong Kong Free Press.
The men were “stirring up trouble” and “maliciously” targeted authorities, according to an op-ed on the state-backed Ta Kung Pao newspaper. The article was published just hours after the arrests, the outlet reported.
Security minister Chris Tang did not comment on the case during a Legislative Council meeting on Wednesday, but said some have been putting up “soft resistance” to incite discontent against the government.
Last month, police arrested two men for possession of children’s books that authorities deemed seditious. A digital billboard was also taken down for containing secret references to local dissidents.
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