The Hong Kong police have offered a reward of 128,000 dollars, i.e. almost 2,900,000 crowns, for any information leading to the capture of five Hong Kong activists associated with pro-democracy protests. All face charges of serious violations of the controversial national security law. They should have been guilty of inciting the secession of Hong Kong from Beijing and cooperating with foreign actors.
Pětice has been living abroad for some time. Some of them live in the United States or Great Britain. Both countries objected to the decision of the Chinese authorities. British Foreign Secretary and former Prime Minister David Cameron described the move by the Hong Kong police as “a threat to democracy and basic human rights”. At the same time, he stated that London will not tolerate any attempts by foreign states to intimidate or persecute persons or communities on the territory of Great Britain. US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller called the move by the Chinese authorities and Hong Kong police a “contempt for international law and norms”.
Already in July, the Hong Kong police offered a reward for the capture of another eight activists. None of them have been arrested yet, but several of their supporters have been. On Thursday, the human rights organization Amnesty International called on Beijing to cancel the posted rewards and release all those detained in connection with the wanted activists.
Since the adoption of the National Security Act, almost three hundred people, mostly activists, have ended up in prison. The most famous of those detained is Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai, whose trial will take place next week. He faces charges of collaboration with foreign states, including the US.