Denise Ho was arrested as part of a raid on people seemingly linked to a pro-democracy news website called Stand News.
On the morning of 29 December, Ho was taken from her Hong Kong home as one of seven people arrested in a raid – including at least five pro-democracy journalists.
Those taken by authorities face accusations of “conspiracy to publish seditious material” via Stand News, a pro-democracy media outlet in the region.
The alleged crime is punishable by up to two years in jail and and a fine of up to 5,000 Hong Kong dollars ($640).
“This morning, the police arrested a number of senior and former senior staff of the company, [and] took many people away to assist in the investigation,” read a statement from Stand News posted to Facebook.
More than 200 police officers conducted the raid, which has resulted in the eradication of one of the region’s last pro-democracy websites.
The statement added that computers and documents were taken from the office, with the outlet immediately shutting down and dismissing all staff members.
Ho, who has frequently advocated for democracy in Hong Kong and previously testified before US Congress about police brutality against people protesting, used to be a board member of the outlet targeted in the raid.
She is seen as an LGBTQ+ icon to the region’s community after becoming one of the first local celebrities to come out in November 2012.
In an update to fans on 30 December, Ho took to Twitter to confirm that she has “returned home safely.”
“Thank you friends for all your kind messages,” she wrote, “I have been released on bail and have returned home safely.”
Ho has faced an array of consequences for her activism, including Chinese authorities banning her from performing on the mainland in 2014 and having some of her Hong Kong concerts cancelled.
Thank you friends for all your kind messages, I have been released on bail and have returned home safely.♥️🙏🏿
— Denise Ho (@hoccgoomusic) December 30, 2021