After announcing bounty, authorities raid exiled Hong Kong activist’s family home

Hong Kong activist Nathan Law at a vigil pictured outside the Chinese embassy in London in June to mark the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Image: Kin Cheung/AP

By Yungdung Tsomo

DHARAMSALA, 14 July: Hong Kong Police have raided the family home of Nathan Law, a UK-based pro-democracy activist on Tuesday morning as China exercises translational repression yet again against dissidents. 

According to the Guardian, Hong Kong police raided the family home of Nathan Law, on suspicion of financial aid to persons involved in endangering the National Security Law. 

Following the raid, authorities have taken both the parents and brother of the exiled Hong Kong activist for questioning. 

A Hong Kong police spokesman has told the Guardian that Law’s family members were “suspected of assisting persons wanted by police [for continuing to] commit acts and engage in activities that endanger national security.”

While the authorities are yet to make any arrests over the matter, the spokesman added that “Investigation is underway and further operations, including arrest, may be made,”

The raid took place on the heels of the authorities issuing “a HK$1m (£99,100; US$127,800) bounties for the arrest of Law and seven other activists.

Law, a former pro-democracy activist who fled Hong Kong for the UK in 2020 where he was granted political asylum, has said in the report that: “I can firmly declare that the involved parties have no financial connection with me, and my work is totally unrelated to them. The idea of ‘getting assistance from them’ is completely absurd.”

Earlier this month, Hong Kong authorities issued arrest warrants for the eight Hong Kong activists in exile for colluding with the foreign force, a charge under Hong Kong’s draconian security law which was imposed three years ago after widespread pro-democracy protests took place in the former British territory in 2019. 

The countries like the UK, Australia and the US where the activists have sought asylum have not signed extradition treaties with China, hence they have condemned the order from Hong Kong authorities. However, China has accused the UK and other nations of protecting ‘fugitives’.

Since the announcement of the bounty, at least five people with connections to the activists have been arrested.

Additionally, the authorities have maintained that they “do not rule out the possibility that more arrests will be made”.

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy,  a Dharamsala-based rights group has condemned China for the transnational repression that the group maintains Tibetans are often subjected to by the Chinese authorities.

“The plight endured by pro-democracy activists from Hong Kong, bearing a striking resemblance to the challenges faced by exiled Tibetans. Tibetans residing in the diaspora have long been intimidated by threatening to harm their families in Tibet if discovered engaging in any activities related to Tibet and Tibetan human rights abroad,” read a statement issued by the TCHRD on their official Facebook handle.

China often employs the tactic of threat and intimidation to control and root out dissent as it rules with an iron grip – in Tibet, East Turkistan and Mongolia- the countries under its occupation.    

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