After the condemnation of anti-government activists in Hong Kong, the outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has expressed sharp criticism of China. A regime that prevents its own citizens from leaving cannot claim global leadership, Pompeo said. “It is nothing but a fragile dictatorship that is afraid of its own people.” The criminal prosecution of the activists shows once again the brutality of Beijing.
Ten Hong Kong activists were sentenced to long prison terms in Shenzhen, China, for attempting to flee to Taiwan. You belong to a group of twelve Hong Kong residents who were picked up, arrested and taken to China by the China Coast Guard on a speedboat while fleeing to Taiwan in August.
They wanted to leave for fear of the new security law in the Chinese Special Administrative Region. Pompeo demanded the “immediate and unconditional” release of the activists.
Two underage members of the group called “Hong Kong 12” were initially not convicted and, according to media reports, should return to Hong Kong to be handed over to the police.
Quite a number of Hong Kong activists had recently fled to the liberal Taiwan or other states out of fear of prosecution by the new Hong Kong State Security Act.
Law allows China extensive access to Hong Kong
The enactment of the law at the end of June in response to the demonstrations in Hong Kong that had been going on for a year had met with sharp international criticism. It is directed against activities that Beijing sees as subversive, separatist, terrorist or conspiratorial.
When it was handed over to China in 1997, the former British crown colony had been granted special rights for 50 years, including freedom of expression and assembly. Western states see the so-called security law as a blatant violation of the agreements based on the principle of »one country, two systems«.