Hong Kong police issued an arrest warrant for six pro-democracy activists living in exile when city authorities first used a new new law to target rapists living outside Hong Kong.
These include Samuel Chu, a US citizen living in the US, Nathan Law, a prominent fighter who recently moved to the UK after fleeing Hong Kong, and Simon Cheng, a former British consular employee who was granted asylum in the UK after who claimed to have been tortured in China.
Chinese state media reported that the six men were asked to “incite to secession and collusion with foreign forces.”;
The move comes a month after China introduced a controversial national security law in Hong Kong. China said the legislation focused on the crimes of “Art Nouveau, subversiveness, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces” and that the penalties were as severe as life in prison.
Critics warned that it would be used to target legitimate opposition and stressed the unusual decision to apply the law to both Hong Kong residents and non-residents. This apparently gives China jurisdiction beyond its own borders.
Chu, who heads the Hong Kong Democracy Council, a Washington-based representative organization dedicated to promoting freedom and democracy in Hong Kong, is the first to focus on this aspect of the law.
He said China had sent a clear signal to other activists by ordering his arrest.
“I would really emphasize how scandalous it really is,” he told Chu Guardian. “I am the first non-Chinese citizen to focus on in principle. I think they are trying to make an example of it. “
Several countries have since suspended their extradition treaties with Hong Kong, including the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany, as a possible safeguard against attempts to use national security laws to round off activists abroad. The US ordered the end of Hong Kong’s special economic situation in early July.
Chu, who has lived in the United States as a U.S. citizen since 1996, said the allegations from China were “targeting a U.S. citizen for lobbying for my own government.”
“We have always known that when the National Security Act came into force, there was a very disturbing and illogical, irrational idea that they claimed jurisdiction over anyone who is not even a resident of Hong Kong anywhere in the world and doing whatever they do. considered a threat, “he said.
Other accused activists were Ray Wong, Wayne Chan and Honcques Laus.
Wong, who is currently in the UK, told Reuters that the allegations showed that the Chinese government feared defending Hong Kong activists internationally.
“I think they want to break our connection with the people of Hong Kong … people will be afraid that they may contact us in violation of the National Security Act,” Wong said.