Chief Executive Carrie Lam has expressed “deep regrets and strong objections” to the German authorities, after reports emerged that two wanted Hong Kong activists had been granted asylum.

Ray Wong, 25, and Alan Li, 27, who were leading members of the pro-independence group Hong Kong Indigenous, faced rioting charges related to the 2016 Mong Kok unrest. They fled the city in November 2017 ahead of their trials whilst on bail, and were granted refugee status in Germany last May.

carrie lam
Carrie Lam. File photo: GovHK.

Lam met with Germany’s Acting Consul General David Schmidt on Friday. According to a press statement, “Mrs Lam said anyone accused of breaching the law in Hong Kong would face an open and fair trial. She expressed deep regret and strong objection to the reported granting of asylum to the two bail jumpers by Germany, which had unjustifiably undermined Hong Kong’s international reputation in the rule of law and judicial independence.”

Lam expressed doubts over whether Germany’s decision was fact-based, and said the duo faced serious charges including rioting and assaulting police.

Trip cancelled 

The German foreign ministry said on Wednesday that the city’s human rights situation was good, on the whole, but it was “increasingly concerned about the diminishing space for the political opposition and a gradual erosion of freedom of opinion and the press, particularly in connection with sensitive political issues.”

Li Tung-sing Ray Wong
Alan Li Tung-sing (left) and Ray Wong. File Photo: Stand News/Cloud.

The office of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Hong Kong issued a statement on Thursday expressing concern: “We call on [Germany] to uphold international laws and the basic principles of international relations, and respect the rule of law and independent judiciary of Hong Kong.”

Meanwhile, Lam reportedly cancelled an official trip to Germany originally scheduled for late June.

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Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.