Hong Kong, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- Former Hong Kong opposition lawmaker Ted Hui has announced he has gone into exile while on a visit to Denmark, in yet another case of a pro-democracy figure fleeing the city since a sweeping security law was imposed by Beijing.
“I just finished my three-day visit to Denmark. I hereby announce that I am in exile, and quit the Hong Kong democratic party, leaving Hong Kong,” Hui, 38, revealed on his Facebook page late Thursday night.
Hong Kong’s Security Bureau “strongly condemned” the decision, the Hong Kong Free Press reported Friday.
In his post, Hui said that “since the National Security Law came into effect, and since quitting the Legislative Council recently, I have been constantly asking myself ‘what else I can do for Hong Kong?'”
“As a Hongkonger, putting up resistance where I can… amounts to speaking for Hong Kong, so that the world can continue hearing Hongkongers’ cries.”
Hui faces nine criminal charges, some related to the city’s protest movement last year. He is one of 15 opposition lawmakers who resigned en masse from parliament recently after four pro-democracy lawmakers were disqualified.
While out on bail, Hui was given permission to travel to Copenhagen on Monday to attend an environmental conference at the invitation of a Danish politician. But a parliamentarian later told journalists the meetings were made up to secure Hui’s exit from Hong Kong.
On Tuesday, member of Danish parliament, Uffe Elbaek, tweeted a welcome message to Hui, saying that “we will do what ever to secure your stay.”
Hui told Danish media he could be arrested immediately upon returning to Hong Kong.
“I’m risking my life to talk about the human rights situation in Hong Kong,” he said, adding that his family has been followed and surveilled.
The father of two implied in his message that his family has also left Hong Kong, and did not indicate exactly where he would go into exile, however the Democratic Party said he would soon go to the United Kingdom.
Many Hong Kong pro-democracy activists have recently gone into exile abroad after the introduction of the National Security Law imposed on the territory by Beijing. Some have moved to the UK, including Nathan Law.
In theory, the law aimed to defuse the biggest crisis recently experienced in the financial hub after the wave of protests in 2019 that often ended in violence between the police and radical protesters.
Since then, there have been numerous police raids and arrests of activists, and some have chosen to go into exile to avoid reprisal.
According to Amnesty International, to date more than 10,000 people have been arrested in connection with the 2019 protests and more than 2,000 have faced prosecution on charges such as “rioting,” “illegal assembly” and “possession of weapons.”
Among them is prominent activist Joshua Wong, who was sentenced Wednesday to 13-and-a-half months in prison for organizing an “unauthorized assembly” in June 2019. EFE-EPA