Hong Kong cancels passports of six democracy activists

Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong government said on Wednesday it had cancelled the passports of six democracy activists who fled to the United Kingdom, calling them “lawless wanted criminals”.

Hong Kong has intensified a crackdown on dissent since authorities quashed massive, at times violent, pro-democracy protests in 2019, enacting security laws that critics such as Britain and the United States say have curbed its unique freedoms.

The city issued HK$1 million ($128,000) bounties last year for 13 activists based abroad who authorities accused of committing national security crimes.

The six identified on Wednesday -- all on the bounty list -- are considered “lawless wanted criminals... hiding in the United Kingdom”, a government spokesperson said in a statement.

“They continue to blatantly engage in activities that endanger national security. They also make scaremongering remarks to smear and slander the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.”

Besides cancelling their Hong Kong passports, police said anyone offering funds, leasing property or running a business with them could face up to seven years in jail.