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Hong Kong Official Declares Lifelong Pursuit of Eight Western-based Pro-Democracy Activists

by Chloe Baker
12 comments
Hong Kong pro-democracy activists

The leader of Hong Kong asserted on Tuesday that eight pro-democracy activists, currently residing in the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia, will be persistently pursued for their alleged national security offenses. The declaration was made amidst criticism that such action sets a precarious precedent.

John Lee, the Chief Executive, conveyed his backing for the police’s pursuit of the eight activists. During his weekly press conference, Lee encouraged anyone, including acquaintances and family members of the activists, to provide information that could lead to their capture, in exchange for the rewards set by the police.

Lee declared, “Surrendering is the only way these fugitives can put an end to a life of perpetual pursuit.”

ADDITIONAL NEWS

  • Hong Kong police offer rewards for arrests of 8 foreign-based pro-democracy activists.
  • Japanese journalist denied entry into Hong Kong for undisclosed reasons, according to reports.
  • Unlicensed Hong Kong radio station hosting pro-democracy guests goes off air after 18 years.
  • Hong Kong activist in final plea for recognition of overseas same-sex marriage.

Arrest warrants have been issued for former pro-democracy legislators Nathan Law, Ted Hui, Dennis Kwok, attorney Kevin Yam, union leader Mung Siu-tat, and activists Finn Lau, Anna Kwok, and Elmer Yuen. The charges they face include collusion and inciting secession under the National Security Law imposed by Beijing.

Over 260 people have been detained under the law since its enactment in 2020, amid a widespread clampdown on dissent. However, the bounty of 1 million Hong Kong dollars ($127,600) for information leading to each arrest represents a first under this law.

The U.S. and British governments were quick to condemn the extraterritorial application of the security law, raising concerns about human rights implications. Penny Wong, Australian Foreign Minister, echoed these sentiments in a tweet, stating her country’s deep concern.

However, Lee maintained that the extension of national security laws beyond a country’s borders is a common practice. He dismissed foreign criticism, reiterating his administration’s firm commitment to national security. “Political pressure doesn’t deter us from doing what we believe is right,” he said.

In the same vein, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s office in Hong Kong dismissed criticism from the U.S. and Britain. The office warned foreign entities against protecting what they termed as “criminals”.

The recent row unveils another tension point between Beijing and Western countries over China’s law enforcement reach overseas, particularly with the reports of China’s alleged “secret overseas police stations”. Beijing denied such claims, explaining these establishments exist primarily to provide citizen services, such as renewing driver’s licenses.

Yet, this intensified crackdown has not silenced the overseas activists.

Nathan Law, charged with foreign collusion and inciting secession, indicated on Facebook that he was once again being targeted by the Chinese Communist Party, but he refused to surrender. He insisted that his actions were “reasonable, justifiable and peaceful advocacy work”.

Mung also promised not to halt his advocacy for labor rights in Hong Kong. He declared, “If I were found guilty, my only ‘crime’ would be speaking the truth for my fellow Hong Kongers.”

Under increasing pressure from Beijing following widespread pro-democracy protests in 2019, Hong Kong, a former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997, is now more closely watched than ever.

Authorities acknowledged on Monday that unless the eight activists return, their capture is unlikely.

Eunice Yung, a pro-Beijing legislator and the daughter-in-law of activist Yuen, supported the police’s efforts on her Facebook page, clarifying that she severed ties with Yuen last August. “His actions have no relation to me,” she stated.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Hong Kong pro-democracy activists

Who are the pro-democracy activists being pursued by the Hong Kong authorities?

The activists being pursued are former pro-democracy lawmakers Nathan Law, Ted Hui, Dennis Kwok, attorney Kevin Yam, union leader Mung Siu-tat, and activists Finn Lau, Anna Kwok, and Elmer Yuen.

What are the charges against these activists?

The charges they face include collusion and inciting secession under the National Security Law imposed by Beijing.

What’s the response of the activists towards these charges?

Nathan Law and Mung Siu-tat, two of the activists, have publicly refused to surrender, asserting that their actions have been reasonable, justifiable, and peaceful advocacy work.

How have Western governments reacted to these charges?

The U.S. and British governments, along with the Australian Foreign Minister, have voiced their criticism and concern over the extraterritorial application of the security law, citing human rights implications.

What is the reward set for information leading to the arrest of these activists?

Hong Kong police have set a reward of 1 million Hong Kong dollars ($127,600) for information leading to the arrest of each activist.

What has been Beijing’s response to the international criticism?

The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s office in Hong Kong dismissed the criticism from Western countries, warning foreign entities against protecting what they termed as “criminals”.

Is there any connection between these activists and the members of Hong Kong’s legislative council?

Yes, Eunice Yung, a pro-Beijing legislator, is the daughter-in-law of activist Elmer Yuen. However, she has clarified that she severed ties with Yuen and his actions are not related to her.

More about Hong Kong pro-democracy activists

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12 comments

CitizenJoe July 4, 2023 - 9:06 am

What happened to ‘One Country, Two Systems’? Looks more like ‘One Country, One System’ now. 🙁

Reply
AngryAussie July 4, 2023 - 9:54 am

Penny Wong is right, this is deeply concerning. Hope my country takes a strong stand against this!

Reply
PacificPanda July 4, 2023 - 4:40 pm

Hold up, they’re offering money for people to snitch on activists? That’s really messed up, guys. Where’s the human rights in this?

Reply
ProudHongKonger July 4, 2023 - 9:13 pm

As a Hong Konger living abroad, this is scary but not surprising. Our fight for democracy doesn’t end, though. We will keep speaking out!

Reply
LibertyLover July 4, 2023 - 10:36 pm

really sad to see this, Hong Kong used to be such a beacon of freedom. feels like things are just getting worse…

Reply
James1982 July 5, 2023 - 12:23 am

can’t believe this is happening… they’re just fighting for their rights and democracy! should we all stay silent in fear? #StandwithHK

Reply
AngryAussie July 6, 2023 - 4:19 pm

Penny Wong is right, this is deeply concerning. Hope my country takes a strong stand against this!

Reply
PacificPanda July 6, 2023 - 8:13 pm

Hold up, they’re offering money for people to snitch on activists? That’s really messed up, guys. Where’s the human rights in this?

Reply
CitizenJoe July 6, 2023 - 8:46 pm

What happened to ‘One Country, Two Systems’? Looks more like ‘One Country, One System’ now. 🙁

Reply
James1982 July 7, 2023 - 1:16 am

can’t believe this is happening… they’re just fighting for their rights and democracy! should we all stay silent in fear? #StandwithHK

Reply
LibertyLover July 7, 2023 - 5:11 am

really sad to see this, Hong Kong used to be such a beacon of freedom. feels like things are just getting worse…

Reply
ProudHongKonger July 7, 2023 - 6:04 am

As a Hong Konger living abroad, this is scary but not surprising. Our fight for democracy doesn’t end, though. We will keep speaking out!

Reply

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