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UK vows to defend exiled Hong Kong activists after arrest warrants issued | Politics Information

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Britain has vowed to defend pro-democracy activists residing in exile after Hong Kong police issued arrest warrants over alleged violations of the territory’s harsh nationwide safety legislation.

A reward of 1 million Hong Kong {dollars} (£100,570) has been issued for data resulting in the arrests of any of the eight folks focused underneath the laws imposed by China.

Some, together with politician Nathan Regulation, who has been granted asylum within the UK, reside in Britain, whereas others are within the US, Canada and Australia.

Steven Li, chief superintendent of the Hong Kong police’s Nationwide Safety Division, acknowledged police will be unable to arrest them if they continue to be overseas however urged them to return to Hong Kong and give up for a discount of their sentences.

He mentioned the brand new prices and rewards weren’t meant to unfold concern however had been merely “imposing the legislation”.

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The eight are wished underneath a Beijing-imposed legislation enacted in 2020 after the monetary hub was rocked by anti-China protests the yr earlier than.

International Secretary James Cleverly mentioned: “We won’t tolerate any makes an attempt by China to intimidate and silence people within the UK and abroad.

“The UK will all the time defend the common proper to freedom of expression and get up for individuals who are focused.

“We strongly object to the nationwide safety legislation that China imposed on Hong Kong, together with its extraterritorial attain, in breach of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration.”

International Secretary James Cleverly criticised the choice to difficulty arrest warrants

Mr Cleverly added: “We name on Beijing to take away the nationwide safety legislation and for the Hong Kong authorities to finish their concentrating on of those that get up for freedom and democracy.”

The US additionally condemned the transfer, with a US State Division spokesman saying it set “a harmful precedent that threatens the human rights and elementary freedoms of individuals all around the world”.

Learn extra:
Hong Kong government seeks court injunction to ban protest song

Eight arrested in Hong Kong on anniversary of Tiananmen Square massacre
Last governor of Hong Kong says ‘demeaning and delusional’ for UK to soften China criticism over trade fears

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Activists seem defiant

A number of of the accused activists appeared defiant, with Mr Regulation, who obtained refugee standing within the UK two years in the past, tweeting: “We must always not restrict ourselves, self-censor, be intimidated, or reside in concern.”

Hong Kong police mentioned 260 folks had been arrested underneath the nationwide safety legislation, with 79 of them convicted of offences together with subversion and terrorism.

The UK handed over the previous British colony of Hong Kong to China in 1997, with Beijing promising to keep up Western-style liberties underneath a “one nation, two techniques” framework for 50 years.

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