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.
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.
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.”
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.
Hong Kong’s psychedelic disco rock superstars Shumking Mansion will play this year’s Hong Kong Free Press 2019 fundraising party at the Hive Spring in Wong Chuk Hang. Tickets are available now for a minimum donation of just HK$50 in advance (free for HKFP monthly donors).