Hong Kong (CNN)A 19-year-old Hong Kong activist facing secession charges under the city's national security law was detained Tuesday amid reports he planned to attempt to claim asylum at the United States consulate.
Hong Kong teenage activist detained after reportedly planning to claim asylum at US consulate
He was among five people in the semi-autonomous Chinese city who planned to enter the US mission, according to UK-based activist group Friends of Hong Kong.
Police said two men and one woman -- between 17 and 21 years old -- were arrested Tuesday in relation to allegedly secessionist comments on social media. Studentlocalism, a onetime pro-independence group, identified the three on Facebook as its former convenor Tony Chung, and former members William Chan and Yanni Ho.
On Thursday, a police spokesman said Chung had been charged with "secession," conspiracy "to publish seditious publications" and money laundering.
Friends of Hong Kong, which said it had been working with Chung, said he had been planning to claim asylum at the US consulate to Hong Kong prior to his arrest. A spokesman for the group added that four other activists did enter the mission Tuesday, but "were asked firmly by consulate staff to leave."
One of those who entered the consulate is a US citizen, the spokesman said, adding that person was "furious about his treatment from his home country and certainly believes that the US Consulate is able to provide more assistance to a US citizen involved in advocating for democracy in Hong Kong."
A US State Department spokesperson said they would not comment on the matter "due to privacy considerations," but added that "asylum can only be requested upon arrival in the United States."