Protesters check out if they are Hong Kong's most wanted
Ada Lee and Simpson Cheung
More than 20 people went to the police headquarters in Wan Chai yesterday to find out if they were on the wanted list, after an Occupy Central movement volunteer was arrested for her role in a demonstration two years ago.
Melody Chan Yuk-fung was arrested on Wednesday for organising a sit-in after the July 1 march in 2011.
The police said an arrest warrant had been issued in January last year, and the actual arrest took so long because they were using a "low-profile" tactic.
Half of the 22 people are key players in the movement against national education last year, including Scholarism's Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Ivan Lam Long-yin, Lily Wong Lee-lee, retired teacher James Hon Lin-shan, activist Bobo Yip Po-lam and core Occupy Central organiser Shiu Ka-chun.
They said they were worried they might be on the wanted list because no letter of no objection had been issued to the movement at the government headquarters in Admiralty.
Hon and Shiu said after reporting to the police that their ID numbers were recorded, and they were told their details would be handed to another department. Shiu said the officer could not name the department, but said if he was on the list, the police would take action. "If the police are going to arrest us, they should do it in an open and clear manner," Shiu said.
The police issued a statement 40 minutes before the group reported their actions urging the public not to abuse the police report room services. Yip said that was aimed at sending a message to others not to make the same inquiries.
Shiu said they were only following necessary procedures to make the inquiries.
Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said: "As long as citizens are obeying the law, there is no need to worry if they are listed as a wanted person or not."
There were 93 arrests on Connaught Road Central on July 1, 2011 and the Department of Justice decided to prosecute nine people in January last year.
Lai stressed that at that time the Occupy Central movement had not even arisen, so police were not picking on Chan because of her background. He said police treated Chan the same as the other eight people.
A police spokesman stressed those abusing report room services or hindering its operations deliberately could be charged with wasting police manpower.