After a reward was set up for supporters abroad, four were arrested in Hong Kong.

Two days before the arrests, Hong Kong put out rewards for the capture of eight pro-democracy activists living abroad.

The rewards have upset people outside of China, and they come after Beijing passed a wide-ranging national security law.

Local media said that Ivan Lam, the former leader of the now-defunct political party Demosisto, was one of the four people held.

Nathan Law, an activist who now lives in the UK, helped start Demosisto. He is one of this week’s prize targets.

This week, Mr. Law told the BBC that his life became more dangerous right away.

The eight people with a HK$1 million ($127,637) bounty live in the UK, the US, and Australia, which do not have an extradition deal with China.

Hong Kong is a part of China that is run by a separate government. Beijing’s strategy of “one country, two systems” gives people in Hong Kong more freedoms than those on the mainland.

But protests for democracy in 2019 made it possible for the national security law to go into effect in June 2020. Since then, 260 people who broke it have been arrested by the police.

What is the Hong Kong national security law, and why does it scare people?
The four men who were arrested Wednesday night are being charged with “conspiracy to collude with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security” and “conspiracy to do acts with seditious intent.”

Under the national security law, their crimes are punishable by life in jail.

Also on Wednesday, police took away banners and flags from the online shopping app Mee. This app helps Hong Kongers find restaurants, shops, and service providers that back the pro-democracy movement.

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