U.S. says detentions in Hong Kong show national security law is being used to stifle dissent

U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price speaks to reporters during a news briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., March 1, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/Pool

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Monday that recent detentions of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong show how the national security law imposed by Beijing is being used to stifle dissent.

State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that the United States calls on Hong Kong authorities to release those still held and drop charges against them, adding that Washington continues to call on Beijing to stop undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Doina Chiacu and Daphne Psaledakis