China says the United Kingdom is hiding Hong Kong terrorists.

After the UK made it clear that it would not stand for any attempts by China to suppress people in the UK or elsewhere, the Chinese embassy in London released the statement you see above.

After Beijing passed a comprehensive national security law in 2020, the eight fled the former British territory.

They will be “pursued for life,” as promised by Hong Kong’s leader, John Lee.

He said they should surrender or live in constant terror if they didn’t.

A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in London stated late Monday that British lawmakers had “openly offered protection for fugitives,” which the embassy called “crude interference in Hong Kong’s rule of law and China’s internal affairs.”

This past Monday, a reward of HK$1m (£100,581; $127,637) was posted for the capture of the activists.

The eight people mentioned in the release all live in countries that do not have extradition treaties with China: the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia.

One pro-democracy activist who fled Hong Kong told the BBC that the bounty offered for his capture had made his life more unsafe.

Nathan Law, who currently resides in the United Kingdom, claimed he had to be “more careful” about disclosing his whereabouts because of the reward.

The eight activists under scrutiny have been charged with espionage, which is punishable by life in jail if found guilty. Hong Kong’s strict security statute, passed three years ago in response to 2019’s large pro-democracy protests, provides the legal basis for the crime in question.

Beijing claims the security measure is necessary to maintain peace and order in the city, but opponents say it is just an attempt to silence criticism.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said, “We call on Beijing to remove the national security law and for the Hong Kong authorities to end their targeting of those who stand up for freedom and democracy.”

Hundreds of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have been detained and convicted.

While Mr. Law, a leading role in the pro-democracy movement, considers his situation to be “relatively safe” in the United Kingdom, he acknowledges that he must be more cautious in the future, particularly while traveling through specific nations.

All of these factors have the potential to endanger my life if I am not vigilant about who I associate with and where I travel. I have to be extra careful from now on.

UK activists worried about Hong Kong’s wealth
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Law has been spotted in London.
Anna Kwok, executive director of the Hong Kong Democracy Council and one of the other exiled campaigners, claimed the bounty was an attempt to intimidate her and the other activists.

They are “united in our fight for freedom and democracy in our home, Hong Kong,” she added in a statement.

She expressed amazement when learning of the bounties but was compelled to speak out on the matter, telling the BBC’s Newshour program about her experience.

The Hong Kong administration and the Chinese Communist Party would absolutely undertake anything like that in order to silence their citizens and prevent them from speaking out.

And so, I thought, “OK, I should make this a big thing,” and “I should definitely talk about the transnational repression that is going on here and also the scare tactics,” because the Hong Kong government is “just trying to see by which point would the international community smack their hands and tell them to back off.”

Penny Wong, the Australian foreign minister, expressed her country’s “deep disappointment” at the news and her “deep concern” about the “continuing erosion of Hong Kong’s rights, freedoms, and autonomy” in a statement after the announcement.

“a dangerous precedent that threatens the human rights and fundamental freedoms of people all over the world,” the US Department of State warned.

Ted Hui, Dennis Kwok, Mung Siu-tat, Elmer Yuen, Finn Law, and Kevin Yam are the other six activists included in the press release.

The security law does not apply in Western countries, and dozens of Hong Kong civil society groups have urged those governments to take steps to protect the liberties of Hong Kong activists living abroad.

“Further evidence that this draconian law is being used extraterritorially and retrospectively to silence pro-democracy voices and intimidate the Hong Kong community overseas,” the organisations said in a statement about the bounties.

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