The Hong Kong authorities placed HK$1 million bounties on the heads of eight exiled Hong Kong activists who now live in the US, UK and Australia using the extraterritoriality clause of the National Security Law. "The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation utterly condemns the targeting of activists abroad under the National Security Law,” said Mark Sabah, UK and EU Director of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation (CFHK Foundation).
The CFHK Foundation and Bob Seely MP, a member of the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, hosted a parliamentary briefing with two of the three Hong Kongers in Britain with bounties on their heads, Finn Lau and Christopher Mung. During the session, Finn Lau requested urgent meetings with British Foreign Secretary James Clevery and British Home Secretary Suella Braverman and urged the UK government to ban British judges from sitting on the Hong Kong High Court. Christopher Mung said, “If we stop what we’re doing because of the fear, because of this type of intimidation, we are actually going to encourage the Chinese government to do more.”
The British Parliament hosted multiple multiple sessions which highlighted UK relations with China and Hong Kong. Mark Sabah said, "From the arrest warrants and bounties on exiled Hong Kong activists in Britain to British citizen Jimmy Lai, British Parliamentarians are increasingly focused on the plight of Hong Kong. The British government should take seriously the UK’s special responsibility to Hong Kong by taking concrete actions to defend its freedom."
The CFHK Foundation called for the US government to bar Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee from attending the US-hosted Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in November after the Hong Kong government placed bounties on the heads of exiled Hong Kong pro-democracy activists worldwide.
Mark Sabah spoke to TalkTV about the bounties on the heads of the eight Hong Kong activists abroad. “The aim of the [bounties] is not just for the three Hong Kongers in the UK, it’s to silence any Hong Konger and other dissidents worldwide,” said Mr Sabah.
The CFHK Foundation signed onto a joint letter with more than 50 civil society organisations urging the UK, US and Australian and other governments to enact measures to protect exiled Hong Kongers worldwide.
In the CFHK Foundation blog, Dr Jane Richards, Law Lecturer at the University of Leeds, provided a legal analysis on the arrest warrants and bounties for the eight Hong Kong activists overseas. Megan Khoo, Communications Manager for the CFHK Foundation, also contributed a piece about the world’s response and what more can be done.
July 1st marked the 26th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China. President of the CFHK Foundation Mark Clifford told The Washington Post, “Hong Kong doesn’t matter just for itself. China is really trying to draw red lines and parameters for what we in free societies can do and discuss.”
Following the announcement of the bounties placed on the heads of eight Hong Kongers overseas, the Hong Kong authorities arrested four individuals in Hong Kong on Wednesday and one individual on Thursday for allegedly supporting those with bounties abroad. In the British Parliament, Finn Lau told Bloomberg that he was depressed to see the news of these arrests in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong government decided to further reduce the number of democratically elected council seats to 88 in Hong Kong.
Lord Chris Patten, former governor of Hong Kong, urged British judges who continue to sit on the Hong Kong High Court to resign after the Hong Kong government issued bounties on eight Hong Kongers abroad.
Alicia Kearns MP, Chair of the British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, joined Representative Mike Gallagher, Chair of the Congressional Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and Chinese Communist Party, to call out HSBC for denying Hong Kongers from accessing up to £2.2 billion worth of their hard-earned pensions.