Sunday, January 17

Student leader Chung: foiled escape to the American consulate?

Dhe Hong Kong student leader Tony Chung has apparently been arrested. One of his fellow campaigners told the FAZ that Chung had wanted to ask for asylum at the American consulate, but had been taken away a few minutes earlier from a café across the street by four uniformed people. Witnesses observed that.

Friederike Böge

The newspaper “South China Morning Post” reported, referring to police circles, that Chung had been arrested by the police unit that was created to comply with the “national security law”. An employee of the newspaper also witnessed the alleged police action in the café opposite the consulate.

Chung’s comrades-in-arms told the FAZ that the “Friends of Hong Kong” group operating from Great Britain had prepared a “rescue operation” for Chung. In a letter to the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, she urged the student leader to apply for asylum in the United States. However, no answer was received from the State Department. “There wasn’t enough time to wait,” said the comrade.

Chung said he should have reported to the Hong Kong police this Tuesday as part of his bail orders. There was a risk that he would be arrested again and charged.

No official confirmation yet

The American Consulate General in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong police initially did not respond to inquiries from the FAZ. The Studentlocalism group, co-founded by Chung, initially only announced on its Facebook page that the 19-year-old activist had “disappeared without a trace” that morning.

Tony Chung was one of the first activists to be temporarily arrested in July under the new “security law”. He is accused of promoting an independent Hong Kong Republic on social networks. The new law provides long prison sentences for separatism. One day before the “Security Act” came into force, the Studentlocalism group announced its dissolution. She had previously openly advocated Hong Kong independence.

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