Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

HONG KONG — Hong Kong police accused 5 overseas-based activists of violating a harsh nationwide safety legislation imposed by Beijing and provided rewards of 1 million Hong Kong {dollars} ($128,000) on Thursday for data main to every of their arrests.

The bounties additional intensify the Hong Kong authorities’s crackdown on dissidents following anti-government protests in 2019. Many main pro-democracy activists had been arrested, silenced or pressured into self-exile after the introduction of the safety legislation in 2020, in a drastic erosion of the freedoms promised to the previous British colony when it returned to China in 1997.

Learn Extra: ‘It’s So A lot Worse Than Anybody Anticipated.’ Why Hong Kong’s Nationwide Safety Regulation Is Having Such a Chilling Impact

Each the Beijing and Hong Kong governments have praised the safety legislation, saying it introduced again stability to the semi-autonomous Chinese language metropolis.

Arrest warrants had been issued for Johnny Fok and Tony Choi, who host a YouTube channel specializing in present affairs, and pro-democracy activists Simon Cheng, Hui Wing-ting and Joey Siu. Police refused to say something about their whereabouts, however their social media profiles and earlier media reviews point out they’ve moved to the US and Britain.

In July, Hong Kong warned eight different activists who now reside overseas that they’d be pursued for all times with bounties placed on them. It was the primary such use of bounties below the safety legislation, and the authorities’ announcement drew criticism from Western governments.

Learn Extra: Hong Kong’s Million-Greenback Bounties Are About Extra Than Arresting 8 Activists

Steve Li, chief superintendent of the police nationwide safety division, stated authorities have obtained about 500 items of details about the eight since these bounties had been introduced. He stated a few of the data was useful however that no arrests have been made.

Li stated the 5 activists newly added to the wished listing had dedicated numerous offenses together with colluding with international forces and incitement to secession.

“All of them betrayed their very own nation and betrayed Hong Kong,” he stated at a information convention. “After they fled abroad, they continued to interact in actions endangering nationwide safety.”

Li stated authorities will strive their finest to chop monetary assist to the wished activists.

Police arrested 4 different individuals on Wednesday on suspicion of funding former pro-democracy lawmakers Nathan Regulation and Ted Hui — two of the eight activists focused by the police in July — by way of an “on-line subscription and crowdfunding platform.” The 4 had been alleged to have supplied monetary assist to others committing secession. The quantities concerned ranged from 10,000 to 120,000 Hong Kong {dollars} ($1,280 to $15,400).

Learn Extra: Hong Kong’s ‘Patriots Solely’ Native Elections Marked by Arrests, Low Turnout

Cheng wrote on X, previously often called Twitter, that he embraced the fees. “Being hunted by China (Hong Kong)’s secret police, below a one-million-dollar bounty, is a lifelong honor,” he wrote.

Siu stated on X that “I’ll by no means again down” and wouldn’t be silenced. Hui insisted on X that her advocacy for democracy and freedom wouldn’t cease.

Sarah Brooks, Amnesty Worldwide’s deputy regional director for Higher China, stated the tactic of inserting bounties on activists seemed to be rising as a way of option to silence dissent. Brooks known as for authorities to withdraw them.

“The location of a bounty below the guise of nationwide safety prices is an act of intimidation that transcends borders,” she stated in an announcement.

Learn Extra: How Authoritarian Regimes Are Stepping Up Repression Far Past Their Borders

In Washington, State Division spokesperson Matthew Miller condemned the “egregious actions taken by Hong Kong authorities in saying nationwide safety legislation adjustments and a brand new bounty listing focusing on democracy advocates abroad.”

“That exhibits blatant disregard for worldwide norms for democracy and human rights,” he stated. “Hong Kong authorities haven’t any jurisdiction inside United States borders the place the advocates for democracy and freedom will proceed to take pleasure in their constitutionally assured freedom and rights.”

British International Secretary David Cameron stated he has instructed officers in Hong Kong, Beijing and London to lift the problem as a matter of urgency with the Hong Kong and Chinese language authorities. He additionally known as on Beijing to repeal the safety legislation and finish its persecution of political activists.

“We won’t tolerate any try by any international energy to intimidate, harass or hurt people or communities within the U.Ok. This can be a risk to our democracy and elementary human rights,” he stated in an announcement.

—Related Press author Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

Avatar photo

By Admin

Leave a Reply