From Nathan Law to Ted Hui, more and more pro-democracy figures are choosing to live abroad amid increasing persecution at home.
On this September 1, 2020, profile photo, Hong Kong activist Nathan Law, center, participates in a demonstration during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Berlin, Germany.
Source: AP Photo / Markus Schreiber
From Nathan Law to Ted Hui, more and more pro-democracy figures are choosing to live abroad amid increasing persecution at home. Nathan Law, a Hong Kong activist turned fugitive, received political asylum from the UK last week.
Currently living in exile in London, the 27-year-old is a former opposition congressman and a founding member of Demosisto, a pro-democracy party that fell apart when Beijing imposed national security laws on last summer. He fled the city after the law was passed, to continue campaigning for Hong Kong’s democracy.
In August, Law and five other activists – including former British consulate officer Simon Cheng, who was also granted asylum in the UK – were charged by police “inciting secession and collusion. “, for national security reasons.
“My being wanted under the National Security Law shows that I am facing serious political persecution and not able to return to Hong Kong without risk,” Law said on Twitter. post April 7 “I hope that my case can help the Ministry of the Interior understand more about the complicated situation in Hong Kong… I hope that everyone in Hong Kong, wherever you are, is safe. full. “
Law is among a growing number of Hong Kong activists who choose to live in exile abroad, as the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement continues unabated.
Track a large amount election system overhaul Earlier this month, with the opening of the legislature but skewed proportional to the pro-Beijing faction, the administration took steps to further weaken the political opposition. These include proposing amendments that would criminalize abstaining – a form of voter mobilization – and redraw geographical boundaries for the upcoming district council elections.
Ted Hui, a 38-year-old former congressman who also fled Hong Kong last year and is now applying for asylum in Australia, told The Diplomat that the recent changes ended democracy and major protest. rule in the city.
“It clearly shows the complete elimination of all dissent, no matter how benign or radical it is,” said Hui. “It’s not civilized [it is] to see the seats are appointed and appointed politicians in a so-called modern city. “
According to Hui, an increasing number of overseas exiles play a key role in lobbying foreign governments to take concrete steps in dealing with ongoing crackdowns, such as impose sanctions or reassess trade relations with Beijing. Last month, Hui, Law and 22 other activists – 13 of them in exile – write a letter to the President of the EU Commission Ursula von de Leyden urged the EU not to ratify the planned investment treaty with China.
The exile activists also launched “Hong Kong Charter, 2021“Committed to continue the pro-democracy movement and conduct international advocacy” without partisan politics. “In addition to providing a framework for global advocacy, the charter is also a gesture of solidarity to engage Hong Kong supporters with unusual attitudes,” Hui said.
“With the 2021 Hong Kong Charter, we will unite the ethnic minorities, to stand together on the international front,” the Charter wrote. “We vowed to resist oppression from the Chinese Communist Party, strive for freedom and democracy in Hong Kong.”