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Hong Kong barrister and former politician Alvin Yeung is among those arrested in the latest crackdown. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

A group of former lawmakers were among dozens of pro-democracy activists arrested on Wednesday under the national security law imposed by China, per opposition groups and local media.

Why it matters: Hong Kong had enjoyed a high degree of autonomy, but the passage of the sweeping security law by Chinese lawmakers last June has led to a major crackdown on the pro-democracy movement. It has escalated in recent weeks, with the arrests of activists including media tycoon Jimmy Lai and the imprisonment of other prominent figures like Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What's new: Police took some 50 people into custody in the crackdown.

  • Former lawmakers Alvin Yeung, Lam Cheuk-ting, Andrew Wan and James To were among those arrested "on allegations of subversion" for holding an informal primary last July for a legislative election that was later postponed, per Bloomberg.
  • Police also arrested activist Ventus Lau over the 2020 legislative election primaries organized by pro-democracy groups, Bloomberg notes.

Our thought bubble, per Axios contributor Zach Dorfman, of the Aspen Institute: "Watching what's happening in Hong Kong is difficult to stomach — a semi-independent city-state being crushed and blotted out by a vast despotism. It's a very old story, and it strikes at the core of our common understanding of human freedom."

Go deeper: Hong Kong's worst case scenario is happening

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Dorfman's comment.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 24, 2021 - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

37 mins ago - World

Scoop: Israel launches maximum pressure campaign against Ben & Jerry's

A Ben & Jerry's store in the Israeli city of Yavne. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty

The Israeli government has formed a special task force to pressure Ben & Jerry's ice cream and its parent company Unilever to reverse their decision to boycott Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government is concerned the move by Ben & Jerry's will encourage other international companies to take similar steps to differentiate between Israel and the West Bank settlements. A classified Foreign Ministry cable, seen by Axios, makes clear the government wants to send a message.

Video game developers at Activision Blizzard say they'll walk out Wednesday

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Employees at Activision Blizzard will hold a walkout Wednesday in protest of widespread harassment allegations across the company, a spokesperson on behalf of the group told Axios.

Why it matters: Walkouts are a drastic measure for developers in a largely non-unionized field, a testament to just how angry employees currently are.

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