Two Hong Kong residents wanted for rioting have been granted refugee status in Germany, in a major blow to the city's international reputation as fears grow of shrinking political freedoms in the semi-autonomous Chinese zone. A spokesman for the German immigration authorities confirmed that two applicants from Hong Kong "received refugee protection in Germany" last year. The New York Times identified them as Ray Wong and Alan Li, two advocates of Hong Kong independence who fled the city facing rioting charges after violent clashes between protesters and police in 2016.
Last year, Edward Leung, another independence activist previously barred from standing for office in Hong Kong, was jailed for six years for his part in the riot in the Mongkok district.
Responding to a question about Wong and Li, Hong Kong police said they would not "make any comment on this case as legal proceedings are in progress."