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More families targeted by Hong Kong authorities in pursuit of pro-democracy activists abroad

20 July 2023 – Today, in a further escalation by the Hong Kong authorities in their pursuit of eight Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, the Hong Kong national security police questioned the family of UK-based Hong Kong trade unionist Christopher Mung. The Hong Kong police also took away the parents and brother of US-based Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Dennis Kwok for questioning. These appalling acts of pressure on family members follow the questioning by Hong Kong police of the family of UK-based Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Law nine days ago. No arrests have been made.

These raids mark two more of the ‘Hong Kong Eight’ being personally targeted and harassed by the Hong Kong government following Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee announcing arrest warrants and placing HK$1 million bounties on the heads of eight Hong Kong pro-democracy activists in the US, UK and Australia on the 3rd of July. Under the National Security Law in Hong Kong, Mr Kwok’s “crimes” include supporting policy recommendations such as sanctioning the Hong Kong government. Mr Mung’s “crimes” include smearing the Hong Kong authorities during a conference held by a foreign organisation.

John Lee also said the eight Hong Kongers will “live in fear” as he will “go to the ends of the earth” to apprehend the “street rats”.

Christopher Mung has lived in Britain since September 2021 under the British National (Overseas) visa scheme. On the 5th of July, Mr Mung attended a briefing in the British Parliament on the bounty situation in which he said, “All I’ve done is criticise the Hong Kong government for suppressing people and attending United Nations hearings on human rights.” Mr Mung shared how the Hong Kong authorities are trying to silence activists and cause a ripple of fear to run through the spines of the greater Hong Kong diaspora. He said he does not think the Hong Kong authorities will succeed.

Dennis Kwok is a Canadian-born Hong Konger who announced in April 2021 that he had left Hong Kong to be a lawyer in the United States. Since the announcement of the bounties, Mr Kwok has urged Ottawa to suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation utterly condemns the Hong Kong national security police raiding the homes and questioning the families of Christopher Mung and Dennis Kwok.

Mark Sabah, UK and EU Director of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation, said:

“This blatant instance of transnational repression on British soil is an unacceptable interference in people’s civil liberties even after they have left Hong Kong. The British government has a responsibility to people living in the United Kingdom to ensure their safety, especially those who are granted entry under the British National (Overseas) scheme when they have chosen to move to the UK to escape repression in Hong Kong. We will continue to call for high-level meetings between the Home Office, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the three UK-based Hong Kongers to seek assurances about their safety. The US government should take the same approach to safeguard Dennis Kwok, Anna Kwok and Elmer Yuen.”

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