Hong Kong police raided the Public Opinion Research Institute (PORI) office on Friday evening and seized computers. PORI is a co-organizer of this weekend’s primary legislative election for the democratic camp in the city.
The police officers said they had a warrant, accusing the organization of dishonest use of a computer for the alleged “abuse” of the information of the police. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years behind bars.
Local English-language media, Hong Kong Free Press, reported that up to a dozen staff still inside the premises as plainclothes officers moved around.
According to HKFP, the primaries are intended to select pro-democracy candidates to run in September’s legislative election. Following the raid, PORI told the press that data relating to the primaries was stored separately on PCs that were not taken away by the police force. It is revealed that some PCs at the research center were hacked recently.
The upcoming election in September is regarded to be the only legitimate way for the democratic camp to ensure majority seats in the LegCo. The pro-Beijing camp has controlled the LegCo for decades since the Chinese Communist Party took over Hong Kong in 1997. The CCP has designed a set of thresholds to ensure the pro-Beijing candidates can take the majority in the LegCo in Hong Kong. Citizens, being fed up with the inability and hypocrisy of the pro-Beijing councilors, have figured out their way to vote for the democratic and localist candidates. The primary elections held in July is one of the localists’ attempts to reclaim the LegCo seats.