Leading Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong, has reportedly been detained, just months after being released from prison.
Wong was reportedly pushed into a van early on Friday, and taken to the Wan Chai police station, where he is being held on three separate charges, Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay reported, quoting the pro-democracy Demosisto party.
Wong serves as the secretary general of Demosisto.
“They are not saying what those charges are. It comes of course at a very sensitive time in Hong Kong. But Joshua Wong has no official role in those protests,” said Hay, who is reporting from Hong Kong.
Wong, 22, was one of the leaders of the so-called Umbrella Movement that brought Hong Kong to a standstill for more than two months in late 2014.
BREAKING: Our secretary-general @joshuawongcf was just arrested this morning at roughly 7:30, when he was walking to the South Horizons MTR station. He was forcefully pushed into a private minivan on the street in broad daylight. Our lawyers following the case now.
— Demosistō 香港眾志 (@demosisto) August 30, 2019
Wong had called for the Hong Kong government to scrap the extradition bill legislation, which ignited the ongoing protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
The move comes as a political crisis in the city continues, with another major rally expected on Saturday.
Saturday marks the fifth anniversary of Beijing’s rejection of a call for universal suffrage in the city, a decision that sparked the 79-day Umbrella Movement led by mainly young protesters including Wong.
Permission for a mass rally this weekend was denied on security grounds, raising the likelihood of another weekend of clashes between police and protesters, who will likely come out in defiance of the ban.
In a letter to the rally organisers the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), police said they feared some participants would commit “violent and destructive acts”.
The ongoing protests against the city’s Beijing-backed government have since evolved into a wider call for greater democracy and an investigation into allegations of police brutality.
Protesters say freedoms in the semi-autonomous city, unique within China, are being eroded by Beijing.
More than 850 people have been arrested in connection with the recent protests since June.