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(Images of activists Simon Cheng, Frances Hui, Joey Siu, Johnny Fok, and Tony Choi are displayed during a press conference on the issuance of arrest warrants in Hong Kong, Dec. 14, 2023. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)

Hong Kong Police Issues Arrest Warrants For Additional Overseas Pro-Democracy Activists

The Hong Kong police on December 14, 2023 added five more overseas Hong Kong democracy activists to its list of people deemed fugitives. The five HongKongers are Simon Cheng, Frances Hui, Joey Siu, Johnny Fok and Tony Choi and they are currently based in the United States, Britain and other countries. 

“All of them who have already fled overseas have continued to commit offences under the national security law that seriously endangered national security,” Steve Li, an officer with the Hong Kong police’s national security department, told reporters. They were accused of various offences under the law, including incitement to secession and subversion, as well as collusion with foreign countries or external forces. Hong Kong police issued wanted notices and rewards of HK$1 million ($128,000) for each of the five.

In July 2023, Hong Kong authorities issued arrest warrants for eight overseas activists and charged them with violating Hong Kong’s national security law. The eight were activists Nathan Law, Anna Kwok and Finn Lau, former lawmakers Dennis Kwok and Ted Hui, lawyer and legal scholar Kevin Yam, unionist Mung Siu-tat, and online commentator Yuan Gong-yi. Wanted notices and bounties of HK$1 million were offered for each of the eight people.  

“I think democratic countries, especially the U.S., need to take a lead on addressing such transnational repression harassment tactics against activists like me,” Joey Siu told Reuters

80 Human Rights organizations called for government action against transnational repression and intimidation of Hong Kong activists by the Hong Kong authorities. A joint statement issued on December 20, 2023 said:

“We urge the governments of the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and European Union countries to introduce measures to protect the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong activists in exile, particularly those who have been granted asylum and faced past threats from Beijing.

We urge these governments, and in particular the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States of America where these five reside, to continue to reiterate that the Hong Kong National Security Law does not apply in their jurisdictions, and condemn the latest arrest warrants and bounties and reaffirm that they are not valid in their jurisdictions.

Finally, we urge governments to suspend the remaining extradition treaties that exist between democracies and the Hong Kong and Chinese Governments and work towards coordinating an INTERPOL early warning system to protect Hong Kongers and other dissidents abroad.”