11 January 2024 - Hong Kong national security police held the mother of Hong Kong democracy activist Frances Hui for questioning a week after they issued an arrest warrant and offered a HK$1 million bounty for her in December 2023. Frances Hui has been working with the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation (CFHK Foundation) for over a year and is a key campaigner on US legislation targeting the Hong Kong authorities for their crackdown on democracy and freedom in Hong Kong.
According to Hong Kong Free Press, who broke the story, Hui’s mother was questioned at a police station. The family home was searched but no arrests were made.
Frances Hui was the first Hong Konger to gain asylum in the United States after fleeing the city following threats for participating in the protests of 2019 and 2020. Frances Hui has played a key role in pushing a Sanctions Bill through the US Congress which would see several Hong Kong authority figures banned from entering the US.
This news comes just hours after it emerged that the parents and sisters of UK-based Hong Kong activist Simon Cheng had been questioned by Hong Kong police regarding their connections with Mr. Cheng and any financial support they may be sending to him. Their home was also raided by police.
Simon Cheng, a 33-year-old pro-democracy activist and founder of Hongkongers in Britain, a group which supports recent arrivals in the UK from Hong Kong, faces alleged charges of incitement to secession and foreign collusion between August 2020 to June 2022. Mr Cheng, who previously worked for the British Consulate in Hong Kong, sought asylum in the UK in June 2020, after being detained, beaten, and forced to make false confessions in mainland China in August 2019.
This act of pressure on the families of Frances Hui and Simon Cheng follows a pattern whereby the Hong Kong police pursue relatives of Hong Kongers who challenge the authorities. Hong Kong police have previously questioned the families of other self-exiled pro-democracy activists, including UK-based trade unionist Christopher Mung and pro-democracy activist Nathan Law.
Mark Sabah, Director of the The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation said:
"The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation strongly condemns the transnational repression orchestrated by the Hong Kong authorities against those seeking safety abroad. Raiding the homes and questioning the families of our colleague Frances Hui and our friend Simon Cheng is appalling and is clearly aimed at pressuring people to stop their opposition activities. The US and British governments must come out clearly and unequivocally against such behaviour and publicly defend any and all Hong Kongers under attack from the CCP and Hong Kong authorities. If we do not take steps to stop these activities now, we are only enabling far worse in the future."