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Hong Kong Police Offer Rewards For Arrests Of 8 Pro-Democracy Activists Residing Abroad

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(CTN NEWS) – On Monday, Hong Kong police accused eight exiled pro-democracy activists of breaking the strict National Security Law of the region and offered $127,600 in incentives for information that resulted in their arrest.

The action was vehemently criticized by the US and UK.

Hong Kong Police Accuse Exiled Pro-Democracy Activists

Since the Beijing-imposed law went into force in June 2020, the prizes are the first ones given to people who have been charged of breaking it. Subversion, secession, cooperating with foreign forces, and terrorism are all forbidden.

Police identified the eight activists at a press conference. They are activists Finn Lau, Anna Kwok, Elmer Yuen, lawyer Kevin Yam, unionist Mung Siu-tat, and former pro-democracy MPs Nathan Law, Ted Hui, and Dennis Kwok.

They are currently residing in the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia after some of them were previously charged with a variety of criminal crimes.

Hong Kong

The eight have been issued arrest warrants in accordance with the National Security Law, according to Steven Li, chief superintendent of the police’s National Security Department.

He admitted that if they remain abroad, authorities will not be able to apprehend them, but he pleaded with them to return to Hong Kong and turn themselves in in exchange for a reduction in their sentences.

Li claimed that the new penalties and incentives are simply “enforcing the law” rather than sowing seeds of terror.

In support of his claim that police have extraterritorial jurisdiction, he cited security law provisions and stated that they will pursue those abroad who pose a threat to Hong Kong’s national security.

The news conference was held less than two weeks after an editorial in the state-owned Ta Kung Pao daily asserted that the National Security Law applied to individuals outside of Hong Kong and that China, as a member of Interpol, may ask other nations for help in apprehending fugitives.

Beijing Increased Its Supervision Of Hong Kong

Following months of political unrest in 2019, Beijing has increased its supervision of Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese city.

Over 260 people, including many pro-democracy figures, have been detained under the National Security Law as a result of the authorities’ crackdown on dissent.

To guarantee that only “patriots” devoted to Beijing can occupy office, Hong Kong’s political system has likewise undergone a significant change.

According to the police, there is proof that the eight broke the National Security Law.

Lawyer Yam, former lawmaker Dennis Kwok, activists Yuen, Lau, and Anna Kwok, as well as other individuals, are charged with international collaboration for allegedly advocating for sanctions against Hong Kong politicians.

Hui, a former lawmaker, is charged with encouraging secession, subversion, and foreign collaboration for reportedly advocating for penalties against local officials as well as the independence of Hong Kong and Taiwan on social media.

In addition to pushing for sanctions and the city’s independence from China in meetings with foreign authorities, open letters, petitions, social media posts, and media interviews.

Hong Kong4

International Outcry as Hong Kong Charges Exiled Pro-Democracy Activists and Offers Bounties

Law—who is presently residing in Britain—is also charged with international cooperation and instigating secession.

Unionist Mung is charged with encouraging secession because he allegedly called for Hong Kong to secede from the mainland.

The new accusations, according to Law, are an effort to silence dissenting opinions.

“I ask residents of Hong Kong not to assist in any associated bounty or pursuit measures. He tweeted, “We shouldn’t live in fear, self-censor, limit ourselves, or be frightened.

China “will not tolerate any attempts by China to intimidate and silence individuals in the U.K. and abroad,” according to James Cleverly, Britain’s foreign secretary.

In a statement, Cleverly demanded that Beijing repeal the National Security Law and the Hong Kong government stop persecuting those who support freedom and democracy.

The extraterritorial implementation of the security statute, according to the United States, is an unwise precedent that endangers human rights.

According to Matthew Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, “We call on the Hong Kong government to immediately withdraw this bounty, respect other nations’ sovereignty, and stop the international assertion of the National Security Law imposed by Beijing.”

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