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Runaway activist Tony Chung wanted by Hong Kong authorities, says Radio Free Asia





Authorities in Hong Kong Recall Activist Tony Chung, Question Parents of Agnes Chow

UPDATED at 2:30 p.m. on 2023-12-29

Authorities in Hong Kong on Friday issued a “recall” order for prominent independence activist Tony Chung, who recently arrived in the United Kingdom to seek political asylum, as police questioned the parents of activist Agnes Chow, who skipped bail and fled to Canada. Chung, now 22 and one of the youngest democracy activists to be jailed under a draconian national security law, announced on Facebook and Instagram that he had applied for political asylum in the United Kingdom, where he arrived earlier this week. Hong Kong’s Correctional Service Department issued a recall order for Chung and said they would work with other law enforcement agencies to put him on a growing list of wanted prominent activists in exile, amid growing international concerns about China’s “long-arm” law enforcement activities.

Chung, who was jailed in 2021 on charges of “secession” when he was just 19, said he remained under close police surveillance following his release at the end of his prison sentence in June, as part of a one-year supervision order. Tony Chung arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates‘ Courts in a police van after being arrested under the national security law, in Hong Kong, Oct. 29, 2020. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters) Chung said he was ordered by Hong Kong authorities to give up his job and banned from talking to the media or publishing online posts, before being repeatedly pressured by police to inform on other pro-democracy activists for money, according to his statement on Facebook. “The national security police officers kept on coercing and inducing me to join them,” Chung wrote. “My speculation is that they learned about my financial struggles through my bank account information, so they proposed providing informant fees, urging me to supply information about others as proof of my reformation and willingness to cooperate.”

Chung, who pleaded guilty to the charges against him, eventually managed to leave Hong Kong by gaining approval from Correctional Services to travel to Japan as a tourist. Once there, he “hurriedly purchased a flight ticket to the UK before the deadline for returning to Hong Kong, and arrived in the UK on the evening of Dec. 27 (UK time),” he said, adding that he is unlikely to be able to return for the foreseeable future. In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Chung said national security police would seek him out for a meeting every two to four weeks, picking him up in an SUV with drawn curtains and driving him to an unknown location for interrogation about his recent activities.

Each time, the police also tried to hire him as an informant, and pay him fees ranging from HK$500 to $3,000 (about US$65 to $385) for information on other activists. “The national security police claimed that they knew that my financial situation was fairly dire, and that I needed money, so they offered to give me financial assistance with informant fees, hoping that I would provide some intelligence and information they needed,” Chung said. Chung’s account of being pressured to inform on other activists is similar to that of fellow democracy activist Agnes Chow, who recently skipped bail and fled to Canada after taking a “study tour” to mainland China in order to get her passport back from police. Hong Kong activist Agnes Chow arrives at court in Hong Kong, on Nov. 23, 2020. Now in Canada, Hong Kong police have vowed to pursue her for the rest of her life. (Vincent Yu/AP) Police on Thursday hit out at Chow for failing to report to a police station as part of her bail conditions, vowing to pursue her for the rest of her life. It’s a threat they have made to many other overseas activists on the wanted list. Police also hauled Chow’s parents in for questioning on Friday. The Hong Kong Standard cited sources as saying that Chow’s parents were “invited to Tai Po Police Station to aid in the investigation,” on Friday. “It is understood that Chow’s mother was the guarantor when applying to release her daughter on bail,” reported the paper, which is owned by the pro-China Sing Tao News Corp. Translated by Luisetta Mudie. Updated to include comments from the Tuesdayroad YouTube channel. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.0”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));


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