A pro-independence student group has said that two of its activists’ immediate family members were “warned” by mainland authorities that the activists should stop participating in political activities in Hong Kong.

The group Studentlocalism last Saturday said the relative of one of its members was detained by Guangdong Province law enforcement officers. According to the group, the officers also said agents would be sent to Hong Kong to contact the member, who has since withdrawn from the group owing to safety concerns.

Studentlocalism convener Tony Chung. Photo: inmediahk.net.

The group said the family member of a second activist visited the southern city of Quanzhou for work in August. They were told by local police that their relative had distributed anti-China messages online.

The group cited Article 22 of the Basic Law in saying that no mainland authorities can interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs.

“The recent cases of Chinese law enforcement departments harassing and detaining Hong Kong residents were clear violations of the Basic Law. We strongly condemn such acts,” the group said.

Last week, pro-democracy group Demosisto said two of its members were briefly detained and questioned in China by state security officers – one in March and another in August. Afterwards, one of the activists was contacted by officers, who claimed they would visit the activist in Hong Kong.

Student Localism’s street stand outside the Tiananmen Massacre candlelight vigil in Causeway Bay on June 4, 2017. Photo: HKFP.

Studentlocalism said the Hong Kong government should make a representation to the Chinese government to protect the safety of Hong Kong residents.

The group also claimed that the Hong Kong police have been following Tony Chung, convener of the group and a form six student, to obtain information. It said the police also tried to meet with members of the group in the past.

It demanded that the Security Bureau reveal information on the surveillance of Hong Kong political groups, and clarify whether it sent information about the organisations to the Chinese government.

In response, Hong Kong’s Security Bureau told Ming Pao that citizens must follow local laws in different jurisdictions. It urged residents to hand over information if they wished the government to follow up with the cases.

The bureau added that only Hong Kong law enforcement officers can enforce laws in the city.

The police said it will handle different cases in accordance with Hong Kong laws and the circumstances, and added that it does not comment on individual cases.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.