A student in Hong Kong Kong who helped set up a volunteer network of medics has reportedly been arrested in Guangzhou, China on charges of “soliciting prostitutes.”
Kwok Chun-fung, who studies at the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, allegedly been arrested on Jan. 8, AFP reports.
“We were chatting on the phone and he said he had to get up and open the door. Then I heard him walking, opening a door and the phone was dropped, the call cut,” a fellow volunteer behind the medical aid group identifying himself as “Small Cow” told reporters.
Officials at Kwok’s university reportedly briefed non-mainland students on the incident, claiming he had been arrested for “soliciting prostitutes”, an offense that carries up to 15 days in administrative detention.
“During the briefing, the teacher told us to cherish our chance to study here as we will be graduating in half a year,” a student who attended the briefing told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Another student who attended a separate briefing corroborated that account. The news was first made public Jan. 10.
Kwok and “Small Cow” helped organize a group of medics who provided assistance to pro-democracy demonstrators who have been injured or affected by tear gas during the ongoing protest movement in Hong Kong.
As noted by AFP, similar charges were levied at Simon Cheng, a Hong Kong employee of the British consulate who likewise was detained while visiting the mainland last August.
Cheng claims he was forced to confess before fleeing abroad.
AFP stated that a staff member of university’s propaganda office said Kwok had “indeed violated some laws and was subject to detention” but declined to offer further details.
The Hong Kong protests started in June against plans to allow criminal suspects be extradited to mainland China, which critics feared would compromise Hong Kong’s judicial independence under the “one country, two systems” arrangement agreed with former ruler Britain.
Although the plans were scrapped in September protests have continued with demands by protesters for full democracy and an inquiry into police brutality.