Human rights developments in Hong Kong in April 2022

Briefing


May 10, 2022



This briefing describes developments in Hong Kong in April 2022 focusing on the rapid deterioration of human rights in the city following the introduction of the National Security Law.


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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

POLITICAL PRISONERS: ARRESTS, CHARGES, & TRIALS


In the last month, Beijing continued its crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, with:

  • The former radio DJ and political party official, Tam Tak-chi, jailed for 40-months after being found guilty of several counts of “uttering seditious words”.

  • Six more activists arrested under the sedition law.

  • Prominent Hong Kong journalist Allan Au arrested on the charge of “conspiracy to publish seditious materials”.

  • Jimmy Lai appeals to UN to intervene in Hong Kong cases.

  • Benny Tai, the former law professor and pro-democracy activist, pleads guilty in election expenses case related to the run-up to the 2016 legislative polls.

  • Further sentences for 2019 cases as data shows more than 80% of protest-related cases are concluded.

  • Hong Kong’s Security Bureau has hailed the use of voluntary ‘de-radicalisation’ programmes for demonstrators behind bars who were involved in the 2019 pro-democracy protests.

  • Two sentenced for inciting others to cast invalid votes in “patriots only” LegCo election.

  • Former-head of Tiananmen vigil group convicted over ‘release political prisoners’ balloon.


THE STATE OF THE RULE OF LAW

  • The law firm, Vidler & Co, which handled protest-related cases announces its closure after 19 years.

  • Former legislator and activist Ted Hui is handed a property restraint order under the national security law.


A FREE PRESS IN THE CROSS HAIRS

  • Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) suspends the annual Human Rights Press Awards as free press is almost completely dismantled.


CARRIE LAM NOT SEEKING A SECOND TERM

  • Carrie Lam announced that she will not seek a second term as former security chief who oversaw the implementation of the national security law, John Lee, is set to replace her.

  • Google and Meta imposed social media curbs on John Lee due to the imposition of US sanctions on Lee and other Hong Kong and Chinese officials in 2020.


CRACKDOWN ON STUDENTS

  • CUHK evicts student media as PolyU cuts ties with student union.

  • PolyU siege commander Chow Yat-ming promoted to Deputy Commissioner in the Hong Kong Police Force.

  • Six Hong Kong teachers are disqualified over complaints linked to 2019 protests.


STATE SECURITY AND ECONOMY

  • Mainland China property companies pull back in Hong Kong.

  • Hong Kong equity fundraising has dropped to the slowest pace since the global financial crisis as fundraising drops almost 90% in first quarter of 2022.


OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

  • New Zealand allows resident to be extradited to China.

  • Senior member of Hong Kong pollster leaves city for the UK, citing ‘red lines’.

  • M+ Museum removes Tiananmen painting.

  • Political cartoonist Ah To announces departure from Hong Kong.

  • Five imprisoned pro-democracy leaders nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.



Source: hongkongwatch.org