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Hong Kong activist Samuel Bickett raises alarm over arrests for overseas donations

Hong Kong activist Samuel Bickett’s revelation of four arrests for overseas donations triggers international concern. Responding to a tweet, Frances Hui notes a chilling effect on activists’ subscriptions.

Criticisms include accusations of colluding with separatists, reflecting a broader global discourse on Hong Kong’s political transformation.

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hong kong activist samuel bickett

HONG KONG: Samuel Bickett, a lawyer and Hong Kong human rights activist currently residing in Washington DC, took to Twitter on Wednesday (20 Dec) to share a concerning story about four individuals who were arrested for donating to activists abroad.

In his tweet, Bickett expressed, “The Hong Kong police recently arrested four people who did nothing but donate to activists abroad.”

This revelation led to a steady stream of requests from supporters asking Bickett to cancel their recurring donations in light of the risk posed by such arrests.

hongkong activist fund

(Photo: Samuel Bickett on Twitter)

He pointed out a challenging aspect, noting, “Since the Hong Kong government has blocked my blog, people in the city can’t even go there to cancel themselves.”

To address this issue, Bickett offered assistance, saying, “If you are in Hong Kong and need to cancel for safety reasons but can’t, please message/email me, and I’ll do it for you.”

Bickett, an American corporate lawyer who was arrested by Hong Kong police in 2019 on charges of assaulting an officer and common assault, has since become a prominent Hong Kong human rights activist.

He was initially arrested for intervening to stop an off-duty policeman from hitting a teenager with a baton, and he later experienced being a political prisoner in Hong Kong.

Currently, through his Substack account, Bickett writes and publishes “Hong Kong Law & Policy,” a newsletter that monitors the deterioration of the rule of law in Hong Kong.

His observations are influenced by his personal experiences as a political prisoner and activist in Hong Kong.

In addition to his writing, Bickett extends his activism by providing legal support and policy consulting to Hong Kong activist groups, businesses, and others who share his goals.

Specifically, his efforts are directed towards holding the Hong Kong and Chinese governments accountable for their actions in suppressing Hong Kong’s human rights, autonomy, and the rule of law.

Hong Kong’s struggle against Beijing’s repression and global activism in response

In recent years, starting from 2019, Chinese and Hong Kong authorities have systematically eroded the vibrant liberties and freedoms that once defined Hong Kong.

This assault on the city’s democratic values has been marked by arbitrary arrests and prosecutions of pro-democracy leaders, the dismantling of civil society organizations and independent labor unions, the closure of a prominent pro-democracy newspaper, and a crackdown on free press through censorship of films and the imposition of “patriotic education.”

The repercussions of Beijing’s stringent measures have been significant, with over 100,000 Hong Kong residents relocating abroad, many seeking refuge in the UK.

Around the globe, the Hong Kong diaspora has responded by forming civic groups, engaging in activist movements, and staging numerous protests.

Their collective efforts aim to draw attention to the human rights violations in Hong Kong and to hold Chinese and Hong Kong officials accountable for their actions.

In the context of this heightened tension, Hong Kong police recently made headlines with the arrests of two men and two women, aged between 29 and 68 on 13 December 2023.

The charges involved allegedly providing financial assistance to two wanted activists, Nathan Law and Ted Hui, through an online crowdfunding platform.

In July, Hong Kong national security police arrested four men, alleging their support for overseas dissidents and advocacy for independence from China.

The arrests were based on suspicion of receiving funds from various sources to aid individuals engaging in activities endangering national security.

Notably, the statement did not explicitly connect these arrests to the eight warrants issued earlier in the week for prominent foreign-based dissidents.

Steve Li, an officer with the Hong Kong police’s national security department, emphasized the authorities’ focus on disrupting the financial support network for wanted persons.

In a move that intensified the situation, in a press release (14 Dec) Hong Kong police offered HK$ one million (US$128,000) bounties for information leading to the arrest of five overseas-based activists, including Simon Cheng, Frances Hui, Joey Siu, Johnny Fok, and Tony Choi.

This move adds to a list of eight overseas activists deemed fugitives by the authorities in July.

These individuals, accused of various offences under the security law, such as incitement to secession and collusion with foreign forces, are now based in different countries, including the US and the UK.

The broader context of these developments lies in Beijing’s imposition of the national security law on Hong Kong in 2020, following months of anti-government protests.

This controversial law allows for severe penalties, including life imprisonment, for acts such as subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces, and terrorism.

Diverse perspectives on the impact of recent arrests in Hong Kong

In response to his tweet, fellow activist Frances Hui highlighted the immediate chilling effect caused by the announcement, noting that many overseas activists with online subscription plans or crowdfunding platforms, including her own Patreon, have reported losing subscribers.

hong kong activist fund

Another user took a critical stance, accusing the individuals arrested of colluding with Hong Kong separatists, predicting severe consequences for them in Hong Kong.

hong kong

In a reflective comment, someone expressed shame regarding the actions of the Hong Kong police, stating, “It’s a long long way to fright with HK police, we are ashamed of their work now. Which was Royal Hong Kong police, it’s much appreciated what they did but never again .”

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Another user highlighted the broader impact of China’s operations, describing it as a reality where the crackdown led by Xi Jinping’s insecure communist party doesn’t spare even those subtly supporting freedom.

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In a broader context, another user lamented the transformation of Hong Kong within a short span of three years, attributing it to the authorities backed by Beijing.

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will the new FICA also arrest donors, if pappies’ commie overlords tell them to?

Singapore’s way is to wait for an opportune time to smear the character of the vocal righteous. Once the “educated” public concede to the image inflicted on dissident then it would be from public support or interests they remove “the thorn in the flesh”

Each group have their own Activists. Govt have theirs, Lee Corps have theirs. So who is serving the Public interest. And claim no conflict of interest. How can there be no conflict of interest. One is self serving their Empires not for Country.

Money they “Gave” to the activists to raise issues they wanna highlight or benefit them. Then sue and collect back plus public sympathy funds included. No?!?

Then come and rank the activists like a corporated structure …. No?!? Manipulating Public like a Boss?!?

Why not approve for public viewing. Activists are to highlight issues either in society or govt or even corporate misadventures. Yet Lee Overlords and his cronies ONLY want to compound it to the issues they wanna highlight NOT their corruption Issues. No?!?

Better than Empires enslaving others as activists to raise funds for them. No?!?

You mean Loong way of doing is Better?
Find their activists stars/ slave stars
Raise only issues they are concern about
Activists rip the public and raise funds for the empire.

This model very good?!?

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