24 July 2023 – Today, the Hong Kong authorities targeted yet another family of one of the eight Hong Kong pro-democracy activists with bounties on their heads. Elmer Yuen is a 74-year-old businessman who relocated to the United States in June 2020 after participating in pro-democracy activities in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong national security police took away his son Derek, daughter-in-law Eunice and eldest daughter Mimi for questioning.
Although Derek Yuen publicly stated last week that he has had no financial exchanges with his father, he was still pulled in for questioning by the Hong Kong authorities. Despite being a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) and pro-establishment, Derek’s wife Eunice Yung was also taken in for questioning. Following the announcement that a bounty was placed on Elmer Yuen’s head, Eunice publicly called for him to return to Hong Kong and surrender. Elmer’s daughter, Mimi Yuen, was taken in for questioning on Monday morning after reportedly landing in Hong Kong from Los Angeles.
The escalating acts of pressure on family members follows the Hong Kong police calling in the families of UK-based trade unionist Christopher Mung and pro-democracy activist Nathan Law and US-based pro-democracy activist Dennis Kwok for questioning. No arrests have been made.
The ‘Hong Kong Eight’ continue to be harassed after Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee announced arrest warrants and offered HK$1 million bounties on the heads of eight Hong Kong activists in the US, UK and Australia on the 3rd of July. John Lee has referred to the Hong Kong Eight as “street rats”. Under the National Security Law in Hong Kong, Mr Yuen’s “crimes” include calling for sanctions against Hong Kong officials and forming a Hong Kong ‘parliament’ for exiled Hong Kongers in North America which “represents, solidifies and revives Hong Kong people’s rights of self-determination.”
Following the announcement of the bounties, Elmer Yuen said he will continue to defend Hong Kong and is unafraid of having a bounty placed on his head.
The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation utterly condemns the Hong Kong national security police questioning the family members of any Hong Kongers living abroad.
Mark Sabah, UK and EU Director of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation, said:
“The Hong Kong authorities are so fearful of freedom that they are targeting 74-year-old Elmer Yuen like their targeting of 75-year-old Jimmy Lai. The US, UK and Australian governments must take concrete action to immediately support the Hong Kong Eight. They must make it known that the National Security Law has no jurisdiction abroad by offering police protection, citizenship and consular access as needed to the Eight. Intimidation will not win.”