Nathan Law, a key pro-democracy activist now residing in the UK, had his family home in Hong Kong raided by local authorities. Law’s parents and brother were reportedly taken in for questioning. This action comes one week after a HK$1m bounty was placed on Law and seven other activists, escalating the tension between Hong Kong authorities and exiled pro-democracy activists.
by Michael Scurry
Hong Kong authorities have carried out a raid on the family home of prominent pro-democracy activist Nathan Law, who is currently in exile in the UK. The news of this operation was reported by local media, which further claimed that Law’s parents and one sibling were brought in for interrogation.
This move follows a recent declaration by Hong Kong authorities offering a HK$1m (£99,100; US$127,800) reward for information leading to the arrest of Law and seven other activists. Law, who fled to Hong Kong for the UK in 2020 and was subsequently granted political asylum, has yet to release a statement on these recent developments.
The operation was executed on Tuesday morning, although it remains unclear what additional items, if any, were seized by the authorities.
On 3 July, Hong Kong officials had issued arrest warrants and bounties for eight Hong Kong political activists currently in exile, including Law. The charges levelled against these activists pertain to collusion with foreign forces, an offence under Hong Kong’s stringent security law that could result in a life sentence. This law was established three years ago following major pro-democracy protests in 2019.
During a press briefing on Tuesday, John Lee, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, stated that investigations against these activists would escalate as authorities endeavor to “pursue them for life”. Lee also warned of an intention to investigate the covert entities supporting these activists, which he referred to as “rats on the streets”.
Countries such as the UK, the US, and Australia, where these activists are currently residing, do not have extradition treaties with China and have vocally condemned the order from Hong Kong authorities. Despite this, since the announcement, at least five individuals linked to these activists have been arrested in Hong Kong, with local police stating that more arrests are possible.
Law, a leading figure in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and an unofficial leader of the 2019 protests, acknowledged to the BBC last week the need for increased caution due to the bounty. After leaving Hong Kong in 2020, he issued a statement severing all connections with his family to safeguard them.
Despite his claim of feeling “relatively safe” in the UK, Law expressed concern over potential threats from informants tipping off Hong Kong authorities about his whereabouts. Law stated, “All these things may put my life in dangerous situations if I’m not careful enough of who I meet or where I go. It makes me have to live a more careful life.”
(Associated Medias) – All right reserved