MOSCOW, November 7 (RIA Novosti) — Chinese activists from the mainland, detained for expressing their support for the Hong Kong protests, must be immediately released, Amnesty International said Friday.
Many mainlanders showed their support by traveling to Hong Kong to join the protests, arranging underground gathering and posting messages on social media, including photos of themselves holding signs backing the protests and demanding democracy for the territory.
"All those detained solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly must be immediately and unconditionally released," Amnesty International said in a statement posted on its website.
According to Amnesty International, a total 93 of people have been detained since the beginning of the protests on September 26. As of November 6, 2014, 76 of them remain in detention. Most of them are held either in Fengtai Detention Center or in Beijing No. 1 Detention Center.
The protests in Hong Kong began with students but were later joined by the Occupy Central movement. Activists are calling for free elections in 2017 and for Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down. They claim that Beijing, which is insisting on screening election candidates, has gone back on its pledge to allow universal suffrage in Hong Kong.