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United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has openly criticized the Hong Kong authorities for issuing bounties on five overseas pro-democracy activists, including a US citizen.

In a statement released on Friday, Blinken denounced the one million Hong Kong dollar bounties ($128,000) as an affront to international norms and human rights. He called on the global community to stand against what he termed “transnational repression,” emphasizing the US’s commitment to safeguarding human rights and urging the People’s Republic of China to honor its international obligations.

Blinken’s remarks followed a similar condemnation from United Kingdom Foreign Secretary David Cameron, who labeled Hong Kong’s actions a threat to democracy and fundamental human rights. The targeted activists – Joey Siu, Simon Cheng, Frances Hui, Johnny Fok, and Tony Choi – are all wanted under Hong Kong’s stringent national security law for charges including incitement to secession and collusion with foreign forces. These activists have been vocal advocates for democracy and civil liberties in Hong Kong from abroad, in response to the city’s crackdown on opposition to Beijing.

The Hong Kong authorities’ move represents an expansion of their crackdown on dissent, extending their reach beyond their borders. Siu, a US citizen, and Hui, who was granted asylum in the US in 2021, along with Cheng, Fok, and Choi, residing in the UK, have remained defiant in the face of these threats.

Despite the threats, Siu, a US citizen, declared on social media, “I will never be silenced and will never back down.” Similarly, Hui affirmed her commitment to democracy and freedom, stating, “My advocacy for democracy and freedom has not and will not stop.”

Joey Siu Conference

These developments have sparked international concern, with Amnesty International labeling the bounties as “confirmation that the Hong Kong authorities’ systematic dismantling of human rights has officially gone global.”

Meanwhile, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs countered the criticism, accusing Western governments of attempting to disrupt Hong Kong’s order.


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