Activist Nathan Law Kwun-chung and former British consulate employee Simon Cheng Man-kit along with six other people, are suspected of breaking the new national security law and are sought by Hong Kong police.
According to a police source, Independence activists Ray Wong Toi-yeung and Lau Hong, currently in Britain, were included as the pair and have been accused of inciting secession and collusion with foreign and external forces to endanger national security.
Invoking the extraterritorial provision under the sweeping law imposed by Beijing a month ago would be the first time for the Hong Kong police. Nathan Law said he would cut off ties with his family while responding to the news.
“I stress that all overseas advocacy work has been done in my personal capacity, without any political connection with other individuals,” Law said in a statement.
“Since I left Hong Kong, I have not been in contact with my family members. I hereby cut off relationship and future contact with them.”
“I’m completely clueless to what offences I might have committed. At the end of the day, maybe the answer is: I love Hong Kong too much.”
Since the implementation of the new security law, two others were also listed as suspects; US-based Samuel Chu of the Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC) and Wayne Chan Ka-kui, previously reported to be in Amsterdam. On Friday according to Chu, who has been a US citizen for almost 25 years, he woke up as a “wanted fugitive”.
Under the new national security law, he is believed to be the first non-Chinese citizen to be targeted. Chu, whose Washington-based organization has lobbied US lawmakers to support numerous Hong Kong-related bills, said “The Hong Kong police is issuing an arrest warrant against an American citizen for advocating and lobbying my own government.”
“Let me be very clear – I might be the first non-Chinese citizen to be targeted, but I will not be the last,” Chu continued.
“If I am targeted, any American and any citizen of any nation who speaks out for Hong Kong can, and will be, too.”
Police were pursuing the six for activities that took place after the enactment of the law which did not have retroactive effect according to a source. Extradition treaties with Hong Kong were cut off by several Western countries since the new security law was instituted.
Despite that, the source said “the move can help send a high-profile message to them or others that their acts could constitute an offence against the law”. “The six will be put on the list of people wanted by police and they will be intercepted once they return to the city,” he said.
As the Legislative Council elections were delayed for a year by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor due to health risks from the Covid-19 pandemic, the police action came on a politically charged day in Hong Kong.
Director of Public Prosecutions David Leung was in disagreement with Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah and sidelined from national security-related cases, leading to his resignation. Law had fled from Hong Kong to London last month and would continue advocacy work on the international level.
1st August 15:30
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