søndag 15. august 2021

Hong Kong group behind major pro-democracy protests disbands amid police pressure

A major civil society group that was behind some of Hong Kong’s biggest protests has disbanded under increasing pressure from police. The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) announced its closure on Sunday, saying no members were willing to perform secretariat duties after its convenor, Figo Chan Ho-wun, was jailed for 18 months over a 2019 rally.

The 19-year-old umbrella organisation, which in the past had counted numerous political parties as members, has been a significant presence or organiser of protests in Hong Kong. For successive years it ran the annual 1 July protests, until authorities began to systematically deny permission to it and other rallies, citing the coronavirus.

“In the course of over a year, the government continuously used the pandemic as a reason to reject the demonstration applications of CHRF and other groups – each member group was oppressed, and civil society was facing unprecedented challenges,” CHRF said in a statement reported by local media.