Updated: Aug 1
3 July 2023 – Two days after the anniversary of the National Security Law (NSL), the Hong Kong authorities have issued arrest warrants and HK$1 million bounties for eight prominent Hong Kong activists who reside in the US, UK and Australia.
Arrest warrants have been issued for Nathan Law, Kevin Yam, Ted Hui, Dennis Kwok, Anna Kwok, Finn Lau, Christopher Mung and Elmer Yuen. Their “crimes” include meeting foreign politicians, attending hearings, establishing pro-democracy organisations, participating in media interviews and publishing social media posts. Hk$1 million bounties are on each individual for information that could help the Hong Kong National Security Department arrest them under the NSL.
The NSL criminalises any form of secession, subversion, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces. This is the first time the Hong Kong government has issued arrest warrants and bounties for activists abroad under the NSL, in a move which is intended to test just how far the Hong Kong authorities can go.
In 2022, the United Nations called for the repeal of the NSL, expressing deep concern regarding “its lack of clarity on ‘national security’”. Two weeks ago, the European Parliament urged Hong Kong to remove the NSL after British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly asked for the NSL to be scrapped in Britain’s six-monthly report on Hong Kong in May. Last week, many British Parliamentarians debated the NSL, highlighting how it continues to destroy Hong Kong’s freedoms. United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has also condemned the NSL for the “erosion of autonomy and dismantling of the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents”.
The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation calls on the authorities in each of the countries where Hong Kong activists are being targeted to reject the Hong Kong government’s extradition request and to protect Hong Kongers who have settled in their countries.
Mark Sabah, UK and EU Director of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation, said:
“It is no coincidence just after the anniversary of imposition of the National Security Law, the Hong Kong authorities have decided to place HK$1 million bounties on the heads of prominent Hong Kong activists around the world. These activists continue to courageously call out the egregious behaviour of the Chinese Communist Party as well as expose how the Chinese Communist Party continues to intimidate Hong Kongers abroad. The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation utterly condemns the targeting of activists abroad under the National Security Law."