Hong Kong former pro-democracy lawmaker Ted Hui’s immediate family members — including his parents, wife and children — have reportedly left the city, according to HK01. 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 has admitted the meetings were made up to secure his visit, which is officially set to end Friday. The democrat is facing multiple legal cases back in Hong Kong.
Hui made a Facebook statement on Thursday addressing the messages he received asking about his family. “I have never felt that a politician’s family life needs to be explained to the public, so I will not provide any information about my family. Nor is it necessary for people to speculate.” he wrote.
He added that he would complete the planned official visit and inform the public of any new updates. However, Danish MP Katarina Ammitzboell told Citizen News that he may travel to the UK next.
HKFP has reached out to Hui for comment.
‘Secure your stay’
The former lawmaker told Ming Pao on Tuesday that he had no intention of seeking asylum with Danish authorities, despite a tweet from Danish parliamentarian Uffe Elbaek that Denmark would “do what ever to secure your stay.”
Elbaek told Politiken that the environmental meetings were invented as a way to ensure Hui’s visit.
Hui is on bail and faces multiple charges connected to a protest last July 6 at Tuen Mun park.
Authorities returned Hui’s passport after Ammitzboell and Elbaek provided official documentation supporting his official visit to Copenhagen this week.
The ex-Democratic Party 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.
In a statement on Wednesday, Hui called on European nations to offer a “safe haven from the terror” of the Chinese Communist Party.
Some supporters in Hong Kong have urged Hui to stay in Copenhagen and not return to the city under the threat of the security law. “You have already done far more than enough and showed the world your bravery,” one Facebook comment read.
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”.
Update: 18.30: Hui has told Danish outlet B.T. that he is 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… My family’s been followed, been surveilled, there were people stalking them – my whole family feel it’s very threatening,” he said.
He admitted he may not return to the city: “My future plans… are undecided. I have consequences if I go back home and face jail… It’s hard, too early to say where I should go and where I will go.”