Police in Hong Kong have ordered the arrest of six pro-democracy activists living in exile on suspicion of violating China’s new national security law for the city, Chinese media reported.

The controversial law was passed in June. It aims to tackle secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The activists are wanted on suspicion of secession or colluding with foreign forces, crimes the new law punishes with up to life in prison.

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It is the first time the city’s police have used the extraterritorial power in the new law to go after activists who are not in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

Nathan Law, one of Hong Kong’s most prominent democracy activists, last month fled overseas after the Chinese government imposed the law on the city. He is currently in the United Kingdom. He called the charges “trumped-up” and said his only crime was that he “loves Hong Kong too much”.

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The United Kingdom last month suspended its extradition treaty and blocked arms sales with Hong Kong. It has also offered residency rights to three million Hong Kongers.


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