torsdag 11. mars 2021

Help Hong Kong residents flee before it's too late, fugitive democracy figure urges

Time is running out to help Hongkongers before the expected introduction of powers banning people from leaving as China tightens its grip on the city, a pro-democracy politician has warned after fleeing to the UK and then Australia. Former legislator Ted Hui arrived in Australia on Tuesday, three months after he fled to the UK while on bail in Hong Kong. Speaking from quarantine, Hui told the Guardian he had decided to move in order to expand the pro-democracy movement-in-exile, and lobby Canberra for increased Hong Kongsupport, including formal “lifeboat” plans to help dissidents and civilians flee.

The Hong Kong government recently unveiled proposed legislation to give the immigration department “unfettered powers” to stop people leaving. With no remaining opposition in Hong Kong’s legislature, the amendment is likely to pass and would take effect on 1 August.

“That’s quite a deadline for different nations to consider if they are going to provide lifeboat plans,” Hui said. “I personally believe many dissidents – and even civilians who have expressed dissent – could be banned from leaving Hong Kong.”