top of page

John Joseph Clancey 關尚義

Human Rights Lawyer and Treasurer for Power for Democracy

Date of Birth:





Human Rights Lawyer

Behind Bars Since


John Joseph Clancey, a US citizen and permanent resident of Hong Kong, has long been prominent in the city's legal and human rights communities. His journey in Hong Kong began in 1968 when he arrived as a Catholic missionary priest. [1]

In 1997, he left the priesthood and subsequently started on a new path as a lawyer with the respected firm Ho Tse Wai & Partners. [2] The firm's reputation has been built on its dedicated work in pro bono cases and human rights advocacy, representing numerous opposition figures in Hong Kong over the years.

Yet, on Jan. 6, 2021, approximately 1,000 National Security Police officers were deployed to execute raids on 72 locations, including Clancey's law firm. [3] He and 54 other activists were arrested on suspicion of "subversion." [4] This historic arrest marked the first instance of a foreign national being detained under the National Security Law. The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, described it as "arbitrary detention and harassment of US citizens" and threatened sanctions in response to the crackdown. The authorities alleged that Clancey had a role in "organizing" the primaries alongside other notable figures such as Benny Tai, Au Nok-hin, Andrew Chiu, Ben Chung, and Gordon Ng. [5]

Despite the seriousness of the accusations, Clancey secured his release on bail soon after, with the condition that he surrender his US passport. Unlike most of his fellow activists who faced subversion charges in subsequent court proceedings, the authority did not charge Clancey in late February. [6] At present, he remains out on bail without facing any new charges.

Photo from: The Initium

John Joseph Clancey 關尚義


Personal Updates

Mailing Address

bottom of page