Hong Kong police issue warrants for eight overseas activists

Australian-based activist Ted Hui is wanted by police in Hong Kong.

Australian-based activist Ted Hui is wanted by police in Hong Kong. Photo: AAP

Hong Kong police have accused eight overseas-based activists of serious national security offences including foreign collusion and incitement to secession and offered rewards for information leading to any arrest.

The activists are based in various places including Australia, the US States and Britain.

The accused are Nathan Law, Anna Kwok and Finn Lau, former lawmakers Dennis Kwok and Ted Hui, lawyer and legal scholar Kevin Yam, unionist Mung Siu-tat, and online commentator Yuan Gong-yi, police told a press conference.

Mr Yam, contacted in Australia by Reuters, said he would continue to criticise what he described as “tyranny”.

“It’s my duty … to continue to speak out against the crackdown that is going on right now, against the tyranny that is now reigning over the city that was once one of the freest in Asia,” said Mr Yam, a senior fellow with Georgetown University’s Centre for Asian Law.

“All they want to do is try to make a show of their view that the national security law has extra-territorial effect,” said Mr Yam, who police accused of meeting foreign officials to instigate sanctions against Hong Kong officials, judges and prosecutors.

“I miss Hong Kong but as things stand, no rational person would be going back.”

The seven others gave no immediate comment to Reuters.

Issuing wanted notices and rewards of $HK1 million ($192,000) each, police said the assets of the accused would be frozen where possible and they warned the public not to support them financially or face the risk of violating the law.

“They have encouraged sanctions … to destroy Hong Kong and to intimidate officials,” Steve Li, an officer with the police’s national security department, said.

The activists are wanted under a national security law that Beijing imposed on the former British colony in 2020, after the financial hub was rocked by protracted anti-China protests the previous year.

Some countries say the law has been used to suppress the city’s pro-democracy movement and it has undermined rights and freedoms guaranteed under a “one country, two systems” formula, agreed when Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Chinese and Hong Kong authorities say the law has restored the stability necessary for preserving Hong Kong’s economic success.

Police told the press conference 260 people had been arrested under the national security law, with 79 of them convicted of offences including subversion and terrorism.

Mr Li said police were merely enforcing the law.


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