THis phone rang on Friday, a month earlier than expected. More than 50 pro-democracy politicians and radicals in Hong Kong have received a call from the authorities: they will report to the police on Sunday.
Many people are expected to be charged with long-term imprisonment and detained. They spent the entire weekend making final preparations. They select books for safekeeping, arrange pet care, and say goodbye to their loved ones. Tiffany Yuen, 27, spent a whole day at home, where she was photographed hugging Buzz Lightyear toys before visiting the voters in Tianwan.
“When the police called, I knew it was bad news,”
He said on condition of anonymity: “I never thought that anything would happen.” He worried that under the National Security Law, his remarks would be used as further evidence against him. This legislation was enacted in Hong Kong in June and punishes what the authorities regard as subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces or terrorism, and can even be sentenced to life imprisonment.
He said: “I don’t know this is a one country, two systems.” This policy refers to the policy of safeguarding Hong Kong’s freedom and rights under Chinese rule after the transfer of sovereignty in 1997.
He said: “Now, even the most moderate form of opposition-chanting slogans and wearing masks of certain colors is considered a potential violation of national security laws.” “The red line is always changing-we feel very uncomfortable. Safety.”
In a dawn raid on January 6, among the Hong Kong people who shocked Hong Kong, 55 democrats were arrested in the first public opinion poll last year. These democrats include former members of parliament, local councillors, and young activities. Home and activist. The total police crackdown marked the largest operation Beijing carried out under the controversial national security law imposed on Hong Kong last year.
On Sunday, Hong Kong police charged 47 of them with conspiracy to subvert and detained them before appearing in court on Monday. Prosecutors said they planned to elect a candidate who could win a majority of 70 seats in the Legislative Council in the election, which was later delayed by the government, and then indiscriminately prevented the legislation from “paralyzing” the parliament and forced the chief executive to resign.
They were detained and attended the marathon bail hearing for most of the week. Some people fainted due to fatigue, while others complained that they had not been able to change clothes for several days.
To show that they are eligible for bail, some of the most famous politicians announced their departure from democratic parties. On Thursday, the judge refused bail to 32. As of Friday, of the 15 granted bail, 11 are still in custody, awaiting immediate appeal from the government. Those who were denied bail included veteran politicians Claudia Mo, Eddie Zhu, and Gary Fan, who were often criticized by young activists as being too moderate.
The judge prohibited the media from reporting the arguments of either party during the bail hearing. During this period, the defendant made a speech that caused tears to his family and even reporters.
47 accused of “conspiracy to subvert state power”, if found guilty, will face life imprisonment. The eight individuals who have not been prosecuted so far-including American lawyer John Klinki, pre-democracy legislators James To and Roy Kwong-have been released on bail until May 4.
This operation left almost all the main voices of dissidents in Hong Kong in prison or imprisonment.
A few days after his sudden detention, Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said that those who “against China and cause chaos in Hong Kong” should be removed from office. Xia said at a high-level symposium on February 22 that “extremely vicious people,” including the detained “Apple Daily” founder Jimmy Lai, legal scholar Taylor Benny, and jailed militants Huang Zongxian should also “be severely punished.” Written by the “Bauhinia” magazine supported by Beijing. Chinese officials also emphasized that the new law will ensure that only “patriots” can rule Hong Kong.
The speed and intensity of the pro-democracy camp shocked even the most experienced politicians. Many people had expected that the National Security Law would initially only target violent protesters or independent advocates, and believed that China would tolerate some pro-democratic politicians as an excuse.
John Clancey, a 79-year-old American lawyer who came to Hong Kong as a Catholic priest 50 years ago, said: “It was a big surprise to be accused of subversion.” “I never foresee this. a little.”
Clancy said: “Obviously, they are very clear. They only want the patriots to rule Hong Kong…. They want to exclude anyone from the democratic camp.” He was the treasurer of the Democratic Forces, the organizer of the primary election.
“A free and safe city is degrading”
Since the implementation of the National Security Law, as Beijing-supported media has increasingly put pressure on judges, professors, and school teachers, the authorities have imposed pressure on the judiciary, the media, schools and universities, as well as churches and non-governmental organizations. The entire civil society exerted pressure. And the pastor of the church who is considered to be a democratic church.
The old Democratic Party politician and former chairman of the Democratic Party, Emily Lau, regretted the silence of dissenting voices that the city once prided itself as a bastion of freedom in the region.
Liu said: “As we all know, Hong Kong is collapsing.” “It is frustrating to see a city that was once vibrant, free and safe degenerate to its present state.”
“Beijing may decide to eliminate dissent, but it would be a big mistake. Allowing different voices in Hong Kong is part of Hong Kong’s strength, which shows that Beijing is willing to tolerate opposition.”
As the National People’s Congress convenes its annual meeting in Beijing this week, officials say the focus is on comprehensively reforming Hong Kong’s electoral system to ensure that Hong Kong is ruled by “patriots.”
Kenneth Chan, professor of political science at Hong Kong Baptist University, said that the crackdown sent the world a message that the “one country, two systems” policy had ended prematurely.
He said: “Populist despotism promotes “political purity” and makes the city completely conquered. There are no limits.”
“We have now carried out a’demonstration experiment’, setting up examples for democrats of how the party-state struggles and struggles with the enemy… The Leninist legal tradition is to “legitimate” political struggles, and the Chinese government regards the law as a kind of Law. He said that this is only a tool to promote the party’s agenda. The party’s decree emphasizes that “enforcement of the law is the realization of the party’s will. “
“The message to the world is that Beijing will not succumb to the pressure of Western alliances to violate human rights in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet and other places,” said Lin Liwei, an adjunct professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
At the same time, many people are still brave enough to be prosecuted, protesting outside the court this week, chanting “just give us justice!”. The police are present.
“You can’t live in fear…I won’t stop working because of fear,” Clancy said. “In perfect love, there is no fear.”