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Written Testimony for the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission's Hearing on Transnational Repression

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"Chairman McGovern, Chairman Smith, distinguished Members and all staff of the Commission,

thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. My name is Frances Hui, I am the first

Hong Kong activist to secure asylum in the U.S. In December 2023, the Hong Kong authorities

placed HK$ 1 million bounty on me for my international advocacy.

For decades, the CCP has targeted the Hong Kongers, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Taiwanese, and

Chinese dissidents all around the world. The CCP, as Freedom House has indicated, is carrying

out the world’s most sophisticated and comprehensive campaign of transnational repression.

In this written testimony, I will first describe some of my personal experiences as a target of

transnational repression carried out by both the Hong Kong and Beijing governments, and

pressing issues that threaten overseas activists. I will then conclude with some suggestions that

the United States can adopt to counter the CCP’s effort to silence dissent around the world."

Testimony Points on Transnational Repression and Threats to Human Rights:

  • Personal experiences include receiving physical and online death threats, harassment, and stalking during involvement in the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement, including being followed home and threatened with firearms at rallies.

  • Transnational repression targeting religious faithful involves instances of pressure on religious figures like Father Vincent Woo and suspicious activities targeting Glorious Worship Ministry in Taiwan.

  • Transnational repression targeting American Diplomats includes Ambassador James Cunningham being named as co-conspirators in Jimmy Lai's trial and threats made against former and current U.S. consuls general to Hong Kong.

  • Involvement of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices in surveillance, intimidation, and lobbying efforts in the U.S., including the questioning of activists and monitoring of protests.

  • Impending threats of Article 23 legislation targeting free speech, espionage, and foreign influence, which could impact NGOs, religious bodies, and missionaries in Hong Kong.

Recommendations included:

  • Make full use of its sanction authorities to hold bad actors accountable for intimidating and threatening overseas Hong Kongers.

  • Make its concern for the CCP’s transnational repression a priority in any diplomatic engagements with Chinese counterparts.

  • Broaden multilateral cooperation among allies on Hong Kong and China.

  • Provide training on transnational repression for government officials. Advance coordination between federal and local law enforcement units to protect people at risk more consistently and efficiently.

  • Proactively encourage INTERPOL not to implement any requests by authoritarian regimes to target political dissidents.

  • Pass the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices Certification Act.

To read more, download the PDF above.

Frances Hui is the author of this testimony and the Policy and Advocacy Coordinator at the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation.

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