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Hong Kong calls on eight exiled opponents to turn themselves in or live ‘in fear’

Hong Kong calls on eight exiled opponents to turn themselves in or live 'in fear'

On July 4, Hong Kong leader John Lee called on eight pro-democracy activists accused of violating the National Security Law to turn themselves in. China also “condemned” the protection offered to some of them by the UK.

“The only way to end their destiny as fugitives, who will be hunted for the rest of their lives, is to turn themselves in,” John Lee told reporters. He added that if they did not, the eight activists they would live “in fear”.

The group in question includes former pro-democracy MPs Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Ted Hui Chi-fung and Dennis Kwok Wing-hang. Also listed are a former trade unionist, Mung Siu-tat, and activists Elmer Yuen Gong-yi, Finn Lau Cho-dik, Anna Kwok Fung-yee and Kevin Yam Kin-fung.

The eight activists fled after Beijing introduced a National Security Act in Hong Kong in 2020 to suppress dissent following the 2019 pro-democracy protests. They are charged with colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security, offenses punishable by life imprisonment.

Call to denunciation

John Lee also called on the public to help the police, adding that even “family and friends” of the activists could provide information. The police have promised a reward of one million Hong Kong dollars (117,000 euros) for information.

A measure denounced by the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, countries where some of the wanted activists reside. “I’m not afraid of the political pressure we’re under, because we’re doing what we think is right”declared the Hong Kong leader.

“We will not tolerate China’s attempts to intimidate and silence individuals in the UK and abroad”British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Monday. The UK will always stand up for the universal right to free speech and stand up for those who come under attack,” he added.

“British politicians have openly offered protection to fugitives”condemned in a statement a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in the United Kingdom, which deplored the “interference” of London in the internal affairs of China.

“They contradict international law”

Among those wanted is Nathan Law, a leading figure in the pro-democracy movement, who fled Hong Kong to the UK, where he was granted political asylum. On the phone, Nathan Law, 30, has the very calm voice of someone who is no longer surprised by anything. “It’s a very classic intimidation tactic… Wherever we are, the National Security Office wants to catch up with us”says.

But the process gives him a chill: a million Hong Kong dollars on his head, that is, more than 100,000 euros. “This makes me nervous, because it could encourage people here or anywhere in the world to give information about me and my exact whereabouts. I’m going to have to be even more careful.”the Mint.

Nathan Law continues to see the glass half full, estimating that with these measures, the Hong Kong authorities are definitely discrediting themselves before the international community: “I have refugee status in the United Kingdom, which is supposed to protect me… It’s clear that the Hong Kong government’s actions are ultra-aggressive and inconsistent with international law.” International institutions should stop collaborating with Hong Kong, he says, and certainly not support these arrest warrants.

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