Hong Kong announces bounties to capture these activists. Who are they? | World News - Hindustan Times

Hong Kong announces HK$ 1 million bounties to capture five ‘pro-democracy activists’. Who are they?

By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
Dec 15, 2023 09:16 PM IST

Arrest warrants were issued for Johnny Fok, Tony Choi, Simon Cheng, Frances Hui, and Joey Siu, believed in self-exile across the UK, US, and Australia.

China on Friday defended the criticised bounties offered for capturing Hong Kong dissidents who fled abroad. Earlier on Thursday, Hong Kong authorities announced bounties of HK$1,000,000 (($128,000) for five individuals who left the city post the imposition of Beijing's national security law in 2020.

Among those sought are hosts of a YouTube channel and other "pro-democracy activists". (Source: South China Post)
Among those sought are hosts of a YouTube channel and other "pro-democracy activists". (Source: South China Post)

These bounties faced condemnation from foreign governments and human rights groups, labelled as “absurd” by Amnesty International, aiming to instill global fear. Washington strongly condemned the move, while London deemed it “a threat to our democracy and fundamental human rights.”

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China supported the pursuit, citing national security reasons, asserting its legitimacy within international law. The bounties mark the second round targeting “fugitives accused of national security crimes”.

The controversial law introduced on June 30, 2020, reshaped Hong Kong, eliminating the legal divide between the city and mainland China, claiming extraterritorial reach without specifying how it applies overseas, according to news agency AFP.

Among those sought are hosts of a YouTube channel and other pro-democracy activists living in self-exile in Britain, the U.S., and Australia. In July, eight activists, including Nathan Law and Ted Hui, were also targeted, drawing Western criticism.

The latest warrants were issued for Johnny Fok, Tony Choi, Simon Cheng, Frances Hui Wing-ting, and Joey Siu, all believed to reside in self-exile mainly in Britain, the US, and Australia. Continue reading to learn about all these five "pro-democracy activists.

Joey Siu

Joey Siu, a US citizen, originally from North Carolina and raised in Hong Kong, stands accused of “advocating for foreign sanctions against central and Hong Kong officials.” Siu, 24, a City University graduate on Friday responded to the situation on social media:

“This morning I, a U.S. citizen, woke up to the news that an arrest warrant & a HKD $1 million bounty have been placed on my head by the Hong Kong govt. for exercising my freedoms in my own country,” Siu posted on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter.

“More to say later but for now: I will never be silenced, I will never back down,” Siu wrote. The police notice listed her alleged crimes as “colluding with a foreign nation or overseas forces to endanger national security."

Simon Cheng

Simon Cheng, 33, currently residing in Britain, founded civil society group Hongkongers in Britain. According to a South China Post report, Cheng allegedly established political organisations and “advocated city independence on social media”. Accusations include urging foreign sanctions against central and Hong Kong officials, as well as hostile activities against the country involving judicial and law enforcement personnel.

Frances Hui Wing-ting

Frances Hui Wing-ting, 24, faced accusations of persistently “advocating for foreign nations to impose sanctions, blockades, or undertake hostile actions against the country,” according to the South China Post report. Presently, she serves as the executive director of the concern group “We Hongkongers” located in the United States.

Johnny Fok and Tony Choi

Johnny Fok, a 42-year-old former barrister, and Tony Choi, 46, were accused of jointly operating a channel named “Tuesdayroad” on a social media platform and publishing video clips inciting secession and subversion. Both left the city on July 13, 2020. They were also accused of calling on others to join foreign armies or receive military training overseas, urging them to overthrow mainland and Hong Kong authorities.

(With inputs from agencies)

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