July 5 () –
The Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, has considered that the reward that the Hong Kong authorities have announced to detain activists in exile under the National Security Law, issued from Beijing and questioned by defenders, is “unacceptable”. of Human Rights.
“It is unacceptable. We are concerned about the announcements that have been made (…) We will continue to cooperate with China where we can, but we will disagree where we should. And we disagree on Human Rights issues,” Albanese said in an interview.
China’s Foreign Ministry has asked Canberra to stop harboring “fugitives” after Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong raised concerns over the issuance of arrest warrants for eight activists, two of them residents of Australia, adding that “freedom of expression and assembly are essential to a democracy” and showing its “support for those in Australia who exercise those rights.”
“We express our strong discontent and firm opposition to certain countries blatantly smearing Hong Kong’s National Security Law,” Chinese ministerial ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told a press conference on Tuesday.
The Hong Kong Police announced on Monday the decision to offer rewards of one million Hong Kong dollars (about 117,000 euros) for information that allows the arrest of eight activists accused of violating the national security law, issued from Beijing and questioned by defenders of Human rights.
The Hong Kong authorities have wanted to relaunch the case against several prominent activists, who are in Canada, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. They included former MPs Nathan Law, Dennis Kwok and Ted Hui, lawyer Kevin Yam and trade unionist Mung Siu Tat. The list given this Monday by the Police Chief, Steve Li, is completed with the names of Finn Lau, Anna Kwok and Elmer Yuan.
The head of the Hong Kong government, John Lee, has invited “anyone” on Tuesday to help the Police in the arrest of the activists, maintaining that the authorities “will persecute the activists for the rest of their lives”, even if they That means going “to the ends of the earth”: “They will live in fear,” he declared at a press conference.
The Chinese government imposed the national security law in 2020, as a result of the opposition protests that put the regime of the former British colony in check the previous year. Since the entry into force of this rule, at least 260 people have been arrested, two thirds of whom have been charged.