Holding banners and calling for their loved ones to be released; the relatives of 12 Hong Kong people arrested at sea last month, marched to the mainland's representative office in Hong Kong on Wednesday (September 30).
They left mooncakes, a traditional gift for mid-Autumn festival, near the barricades and chanted "return our children."
The 12, of whom 10 were facing charges related to anti-government protests last year, were arrested on August 23rd for suspected illegal entry into mainland Chinese waters as they attempted to flee by boat to self-ruled Taiwan.
They are being held in Shenzhen and their families say they have been denied access to independent lawyers.
The father of detainee Cheng Tsz-Ho broke down in tears:
"I don't even know how my children are. Is this too much to ask for? My son is also a Hong Kong citizen, he pays his taxes."
Hong Kong authorities have said the 12 will be represented by mainland lawyers chosen by the detainees from a list, provided by Chinese authorities and that they have offered quote "needed and feasible" assistance to the families.
China's foreign ministry has called the 12 "separatists", compounding fears of many in Hongkong about what they see as China's determination to end any push for greater democracy in the financial hub.
Mother of detainee Li Tsz-yin:
"Us Hong Kongers, who are supposedly running our own city - we can't do anything, they don't respond to us, not even to our four requests."
In a statement on Tuesday (September 29), the liaison office said the facts related to their crimes were clear and that people with "ulterior motives" were "spreading rumours" about the 12 to instigate illegal demonstrations.