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Hong Kong police say 4 protesters arrested after year on the run

Nan Yang

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Betray by United States. Betrayed by Taiwan. Their own people tipped off the police as they boarded the boat.

Now here they are today... Arrested.


Hong Kong police say 4 protesters arrested after year on the run


By Kiki Lo and James Pomfret

Senior Superintendent Steve Li Kwai-wah, of the police’s National Security Department, speaks during an news conference after police said they arrested nine people suspected of terrorist activities, in Hong Kong

Senior Superintendent Steve Li Kwai-wah, of the police’s National Security Department, speaks during an news conference after police said they arrested nine people suspected of terrorist activities, in Hong Kong, China July 6, 2021. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

HONG KONG, July 14 (Reuters) - Hong Kong police said on Thursday they had arrested four men, wanted on charges stemming from mass pro-democracy protests in 2019, who had gone into hiding for over a year.

Steve Li, with the police national security department, told reporters the four, aged 16-24, had been arrested in the countryside at dawn on Wednesday.

They had all faced rioting and illegal assembly charges but had failed to show up in court, leading to warrants being issued for their arrests.

Since late 2020 and early 2021, the men had holed up in various places including a windowless room in an industrial building, supported by a group of handlers, some of whom had since fled to the UK, Li said.

"Because they knew the police were investigating their whereabouts, they kept changing their hiding place," Li told reporters. "They were placed in cardboard boxes and moved about, like cargo, to new hideouts."

Local media said the men had been en-route to a speed boat at a remote pier that was bound for Taiwan, and had been caught with Taiwan cash and multiple phone cards among other items.

"We saw that all four of the men had long, unkempt hair, their bodies were very thin and they looked anguished and downcast," Li said.

One of the suspects, Tsang Chi-kin, 21, was brought into court on Thursday chained around the wrists and waist, sporting shoulder length hair and dressed in black shorts.

Tsang, a former high school student, was shot in the chest by police on Oct. 1 2019, only to be charged with rioting. He later sought asylum in the U.S. consulate but was rejected.

Hong Kong, a former British colony that reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, was embroiled by mass pro-democracy protests in 2019. Police have arrested over 10,000 people related to those demonstrations, leading to over 1,000 being jailed so far, according to rights groups and activists read more .

Western governments have criticised authorities for clamping down on dissent, including through a China-imposed national security law. Authorities, however, say their enforcement actions have restored stability to the financial hub.
 

Chat SAMOSA

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Poor lads! Unlike Jack Ma who was able to pay several billions to CCP leaders in foreign accounts to stay out of jail, these poor lads did not have money to pay CCP.
 

Beast

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Poor lads! Unlike Jack Ma who was able to pay several billions to CCP leaders in foreign accounts to stay out of jail, these poor lads did not have money to pay CCP.
Nice fake story. Unlike India who local entrepreneur can skip taxes ,collaborate with government officers and lynch India wealth. :enjoy:

Looks great outside, inside fully rotten
 

Chat SAMOSA

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Nice fake story. Unlike India who local entrepreneur can skip taxes ,collaborate with government officers and lynch India wealth. :enjoy:

Looks great outside, inside fully rotten
Not just local tax skippers, we find tax cheats imported from China as well - such as the vivo crooks that CCP is sheltering after they got caught in India.

That aside, Xi's daughter is about to buy her third luxury condo. Guess where ?
 

Beast

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Not just local tax skippers, we find tax cheats imported from China as well - such as the vivo crooks that CCP is sheltering after they got caught in India.

That aside, Xi's daughter is about to buy her third luxury condo. Guess where ?
More like india cook up story to lynch foreign investor while local entrepreneur are free of any tax skip wrongdoing. We all know the rotten system of India. Jack ma are more than happy to stay in China. He will be penniless if he invest in crook India.

And where did you heard the fake news of those? From crook indian media? There is already a thread exposing fake India news. India is well known to be crook on making false data and scam center.
:enjoy:
 

Chat SAMOSA

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More like india cook up story to lynch foreign investor while local entrepreneur are free of any tax skip wrongdoing. We all know the rotten system of India. Jack ma are more than happy to stay in China. He will be penniless if he invest in crook India.

And where did you heard the fake news of those? From crook indian media? There is already a thread exposing fake India news. India is well known to be crook on making false data and scam center.
:enjoy:
U seem angry. U shud be.
 

Nan Yang

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London-based, anti-China group Friends of Hong Kong distances itself from members said to be involved in case of 4 protesters caught after 20 months in hiding

  • Organisation admits members had personally provided support for Tsang Chi-kin, 21, who survived being shot in the chest during a violent protest in 2019
  • It denies allegations of crowdfunding and connections with parties that had exposed Tsang and three others

Nadia Lam

Published: 1:14pm, 16 Jul, 2022

1658333343310.png

Police escort the captured suspects to court. Photo: Yik Yeung-man

An anti-China group based in London has distanced itself from members it said had helped hide four suspects who were recently arrested in Hong Kong after nearly two years on the run over protest-linked charges.

But Friends of Hong Kong admitted in a statement on Friday night that its members had personally provided support for Tsang Chi-kin, 21, who survived being shot in the chest during a violent protest in 2019.

The group stressed it had not helped Tsang further, except for issuing comments in 2020 pledging its continued backing for protesters in similar situations.

1658333416527.png

Riot suspect Tsang Chi-kin, 21, has been caught after nearly two years on the run. Photo: Yik Yeung-man

It denied allegations of crowdfunding and connections with parties that had exposed Tsang and three others. Tsang was among four young people intercepted and arrested by police in Sai Kung on Wednesday, with the force acting on a tip-off. The quartet, aged 16 to 24, had missed legal proceedings over a raft of charges, such as rioting and joining illegal assemblies, and had failed to report to police since late 2020

“We have always been a very small organisation … We never [sought] funding for Tsang. Any such attempts had nothing to do with Friends of Hong Kong or any members of Friends of Hong Kong,” the group said on Friday, adding that any related support provided by its members was “on a personal basis”.

“Any further support [for] Tsang was never handled by Friends of Hong Kong,” it insisted, without elaborating on the help its members had offered, nor if they had received money from the four.

The group also said it had ceased operations last October.

1658333483653.png

The Facebook page of Friends of Hong Kong.

A police insider earlier told the Post the four suspects were believed to have been duped by a group of about 10 and told a boat ride to Taiwan had been arranged for their escape. Police were then tipped off, leading to Wednesday’s arrests in Sai Kung before daybreak.

According to police, the four protesters had paid a total of HK$400,000 (US$50,950) to a “social media channel group” for help to flee the city. During their 20 months in hiding, they were stuffed into carton boxes and “inhumanely” treated as cargo while being moved to three different hideouts – two industrial units and a flat – all in Tsuen Wan, the force said.

On Friday, Friends of Hong Kong said neither the organisation as a whole nor individual members had sought funding for Tsang, after police said the “social media channel group” had used the four absconders to raise money through crowdfunding for their own benefit.

Earlier in the day, two wanted YouTubers from anti-government commentary channel Tuesdayroad claimed they had provided support for the four suspects, accusing a man surnamed Chan as being the person behind the suspects’ asylum bids. The four are said to have sought protection at the US consulate in 2020 but were turned away.

Chan, who had left for Britain, was identified as the founder of Friends of Hong Kong. The YouTubers said he had accepted HK$200,000 from each of the four to help them flee the city.

The duo said they had spent more than HK$1 million to pay for rent and food for the protesters while they were on the run, but denied they had taken money from the suspects for their escape.

The YouTube channel is currently under investigation, with Chan and the two hosts – who have also left for the UK – on a list of wanted individuals, according to a police insider.

Friends of Hong Kong, in denying its involvement on Friday, said: “[Our] functions have never been through crowdfunding. We did for a short time, unrelated to [support for] Tsang, have a small subscription plan that was active for one month. The amount received was within £300.”

It added it had always operated out of personal funds.

The last Facebook message Friends of Hong Kong posted about Tsang was in 2020. Addressing that post on Friday, the group said its remarks back in December that year were released when it became aware of Tsang’s needs.

“We stand by our beliefs for the need to release that statement,” it said.

In its 2020 comments, the group said it was helping Tsang’s 15-year-old girlfriend, Aurora, settle in the United Kingdom. It also made five Facebook posts centred on Tsang in December 2020, including reposting media interviews of him and a festive greeting from the suspect’s personal Facebook page.


Nadia Lam

Nadia Lam joined the Post in 2020 after graduating with a degree in journalism. She is currently a reporter on the City desk.
 

Nan Yang

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Hong Kong dissidents unwelcome in Taiwan

  • Despite their profession of democratic camaraderie, lawmakers from President Tsai’s own party have held up indefinitely proposed amendments to relax residency rules for people supposedly fleeing Hong Kong and Macau


Alex Lo
Published: 9:00pm, 18 Jul, 2022

The arrest of four protesters from the anti-government riots in 2019 have again shone a spotlight on Taiwan as a lousy escape route for such individuals. The self-ruled island under President Tsai Ing-wen might have cynically exploited the social unrest in Hong Kong three years ago for propaganda and electoral gains. After all, the riots helped her greatly to secure a second term in office. In practice, though, Taiwan does not welcome Hong Kong protesters, democracy fighters, dissidents or rioters, however you label them.

After 20 months of hiding, the four were taken into custody by police in Sai Kung last week while trying to get aboard a boat to sail illegally to Taiwan. Perhaps they have been shut off from news about current events by hiding too long. But even if they had managed to reach the island, their lives would not have improved much.

A plan to relax residency rules for people supposedly fleeing Hong Kong and Macau has been stalled and put on hold indefinitely in the Legislative Yuan. That was to have amended “the Regulations Governing Residency or Permanent Residency for People of the Hong Kong Area and the Macau Area”.

Now, lawmakers from Tsai’s own Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have effectively killed it. Ostensibly, it was out of national security concerns. The claim was that those applying under the relaxed residency rules could be mainland Chinese spies.

Well, of course they could. Anything is possible. But given the already extensive links across the Taiwan Strait in business, investment, tourism and student exchange in recent decades, presumably there are already plenty of mainland spies operating on the island; likewise with Taiwanese spies on the mainland.

The island’s Mainland Affairs Council has been more honest. An unnamed official quoted by the Chinese-language Liberty Times said there were other objections besides national security.

A proposed amendment especially offered relaxed rules for white-collar workers from Hong Kong and Macau. The council was apparently worried about job competition with locals.

An unstated reason for the opposition seems to be that the estimated hundreds of Hongkongers who have fled to the island in 2020 have been young people without academic or professional qualifications, let alone proper work experience. Their greatest accomplishment so far has been to wreak havoc in Hong Kong.

You can hardly blame Tsai and her DPP colleagues for not rolling out the red carpet for such people they once called heroes, and then attracting more to come.

Taiwan has no established procedures to process and accept political refugees, and has no plan to set up such a system. Some Hong Kong cases have involved indefinite detention. Others have been allowed temporary stay on the island but with unclear legal status. They can’t work or apply for social welfare or health assistance, and there is no defined path to a legal residency. Many ended up living day to day and relying on the charity of pro-Hong Kong groups, which themselves have limited resources.

Unfortunately, those who took part in the 2019 violent protests by trashing their own birthplace tended to be naive enough to believe in the sheer evil of the Hong Kong and central governments. And they would also be inexperienced and uncritical enough to believe in Tsai’s profession of democratic camaraderie.

For those four who jumped bail or absconded, serving not-too-long sentences and starting life again in their home city may be a much better outcome than wondering like lost souls in Taiwan.

Alex Lo

Alex Lo has been a Post columnist since 2012, covering major issues affecting Hong Kong and the rest of China. A journalist for 25 years, he has worked for various publications in Hong Kong and Toronto as a news reporter and editor. He has also lectured in journalism at the University of Hong Kong.
 

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