Hong Kong questions families of wanted activists

hong kong questions families of wanted activists

Hong Kong national security police detained four people Thursday, including the brother of prominent activist Dennis Kwok — one of eight fugitives with bounties on their heads for allegedly breaching national security.

The city’s national security department “took away two men and two women for investigation”, police confirmed to AFP.

Among the four was the elder brother of former democracy lawmaker Dennis Kwok, who is currently in the United States, according to a police source.

“(Kwok’s elder brother) is now under investigation,” the source said. He was later photographed by the media when leaving a police station.

Authorities also told AFP that three people — “two women and a man” — were detained by national security police as part of a separate investigation two days prior.

The source confirmed the three detained Tuesday were the elder brother, sister-in-law and nephew of prominent unionist Mung Siu-tat, who is also among the eight fugitives.

Police said both actions this week targeted people “suspected of assisting persons wanted by Police (for continuing to) commit acts and engage in activities that endanger national security”.

“Investigation is underway and further operations, including arrest, may be made.”

Mung’s relatives were allowed to leave the police station the same day, reported Hong Kong newspaper Sing Tao Daily, citing unnamed sources.

‘Thuggish tactics’

The detentions come two weeks after authorities offered rewards of HK$1 million ($128,000) for information leading to the arrest of eight prominent democracy activists now living abroad, accusing them of subversion, foreign collusion and other crimes.

The bounties have incited an outcry from the United States, Britain, and Australia — all countries where the eight are living.

Mung and Kwok’s families were not the first to be targeted by the national security department: last week, three family members of Nathan Law, another wanted activist, were taken in for questioning.

A longtime labour rights unionist, Mung is currently in Britain where he continues to advocate for those in Hong Kong targeted under the security law, imposed about a year after massive democracy protests kicked off in 2019.

“I don’t believe they can silence us. I have made it clear that I will not stop my advocacy and activism,” Mung told AFP earlier this week.

But he said the Hong Kong government’s bounties would have “some rippling effects”.

“They are not only mounting pressure on us but also making those who live in Hong Kong dare not to maintain contact with us,” he said.

Maya Wang, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch, called on foreign governments to impose sanctions on officials responsible for the crackdown in Hong Kong.

“It is alarming that the Hong Kong government has now adopted Beijing’s thuggish tactics of harassing families in an attempt to silence and intimidate exiled activists and the Hong Kong diaspora,” Wang said Thursday.

Police have arrested 260 people under the national security law, with 79 of them convicted or awaiting sentencing in Hong Kong.

Authored by Afp via Breitbart July 20th 2023