Hong Kong democrat Ted Hui has confirmed he will not return to Hong Kong from Denmark. In a Facebook post on Thursday, the Democratic Party politician said he will go into exile and quit the party.

“I just finished my three-day visit to Denmark, I hereby announce that I am in exile, and quit the Hong Kong democratic party, leaving Hong Kong,” he said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Hui’s immediate family members have also reportedly left the city, according to HK01.

“Since the implementation of the national security law, until my recent exit from the Legislative Council, I have been asking myself, what else can I do for Hong Kong?,” he wrote. “I have tried struggling, and hoped to fight on the streets like last year, no longer caring about criminal liability. I have also tried to stay at the dying council, and use my remaining position to deal with the tyranny.”

Ted Hui. Photo: RTHK sceenshot.

“Now that none of that can really achieve anything, all resistance I can do as a Hongkonger – and from my position – is to continue to speak up for Hong Kong, and let the world still hear Hong Kong people’s shouts in our struggle, fight for the freedom of speech that Hong Kong people deserve in the free air of the foreign land, and take back Hong Kong’s discourse from the regime. I will also fight with other comrades in exile, such as Nathan, and widen Hong Kong’s international battlefront”

Hui travelled to Copenhagen on Monday, reportedly to attend a parliamentary conference on climate change after receiving a letter of invitation from Danish politician Katarina Ammitzboell. However, a parliamentarian admitted the meetings were made up to secure his visit, which was officially set to end Friday.

Hui is on bail and faces multiple charges connected to a protest last July 6 at Tuen Mun park.

The ex-lawmaker was also arrested on two separate occasions under the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance last month for protesting against the pro-Beijing camp in the Legislative Council chamber. The first arrest was in connection to chaotic scenes and scuffles between the two camps earlier in May while the second involved Hui splashing a foul-smelling substance in the chamber against the now-passed national anthem bill.

Reacting to the news of Hui’s exile, the Democratic Party’s James To paid tribute in a response to HKFP: “When one country two systems suddenly ends, Ted is one of many Hong Kong people who has to make a very painful decision for themselves and their families to leave our beloved place having been changed to a totalitarian regime.”

‘Could be jailed for life’

The Democratic Party confirmed Hui would move on to the UK in the near future.

In Thursday’s Facebook message, he pledged to fight on: “Now that none of that can really achieve anything, all resistance I can do as a Hongkonger – and from my position – is to continue to speak up for Hong Kong, and let the world still hear Hong Kong people’s cries for our struggle. I will fight for the freedom of speech that Hong Kong people deserve in the free air of a foreign land, and take back Hong Kong’s discourse from the regime. I will also fight with other comrades in exile, such as Nathan [Law], and widen Hong Kong’s international battlefront.”

Earlier on Thursday, he told Danish outlet B.T. that he was facing nine criminal charges in Hong Kong and could be jailed for decades or life, and may be immediately arrested if he returns: “I’m risking my life to talk about the human rights situation in Hong Kong,” he said. “My family’s been followed, been surveilled, there were people stalking them – my whole family feel it’s very threatening.”

Photo: GovHK.

Danish MP Katarina Ammitzboell told Citizen News that he may travel to the UK next.

Hui stepped down from the legislature with the rest of the democratic camp in mid-November in solidarity with four colleagues who had been disqualified following a decision by Beijing that allowed the government to oust lawmakers deemed to be “unpatriotic”.

Separately, HK01 and RTHK cited sources as saying that pro-democracy activist Baggio Leung had also left the city.


Additional reporting: Candice Chau & Kelly Ho.

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