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Hong Kong Awards Honours to Sanction Designated Officials and to Authors of Article 23

3 June 2024 - This week in Hong Kong, over 500 people received honours from the Hong Kong authorities as part of the 27th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule. The awards recognise individuals for their contributions to society. 

Among those recognised were people who are currently named in US legislation to be sanctioned for their role in the ongoing political persecution of pro-democracy activists, including British citizen Jimmy Lai. 

The Hong Kong Sanction Act, which was introduced in November 2023, would require the U.S. President to determine within 180 days of its passage whether a list of Hong Kong officials included in the bill qualify for sanctions under existing U.S. legislation including the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, the Hong Kong Autonomy Act and the President’s Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization.

The people given honours despite being named in U.S. legislation are:

  • Maggie Yang Mei-kei, Director of Public Prosecutions.

  • Anthony Chau Tin-hang, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions 

  • Andy Lo Tin-wai, Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions

  • Crystal Chan Wing-sum, Senior Public Prosecutor

  • Cherry Chong Man-yan, Senior Public Prosecutor

  • Karen Ng Ka-yuet, Senior Public Prosecutor

Among other recipients of awards were officials in charge of the legislation known as Article 23, which is Hong Kong’s own version of the Beijing imposed National Security Law which saw the end of all popular protests across the city and the arrest of thousands of protesters. 

Those given awards include: pro-Beijing scholar Lau Siu-kai, the government’s PR head Apollonia Liu, Llewellyn Mui and Ivan Leung, both government lawyers at the Department of Justice and veteran lawmaker Martin Liao. Martin Liao is also designated for sanction on the U.S. legislation. 

Mark Sabah, Director UK & EU, Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation said:  

“The levels of impunity are sky high in Hong Kong at the moment. Giving national honours and awards to people that are on a list to be denied entry to other countries shows just how little Hong Kong and Beijing care about their actions. These moves mirror perfectly those by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who regularly confers honours on Russian officials targeted by the west. We utterly condemn the awarding of honours to people who are willing to silence their own fellow citizens and we call on the U.S. and UK government to immediately enforce the sanctions list so that they cannot enjoy the freedom abroad that they have curtailed in Hong Kong.”

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