A 15-year-old Hong Kong protester, who is the girlfriend of a teenager shot by police with a live round in October 2019, says she has fled the city for Britain as an exodus of pro-democracy supporters continues.
In an interview with Apple Daily published on Monday, the girl – using the pseudonym “Aurora” – said she arrived in the UK days ago to seek political asylum. According to local media, she is the youngest Hongkonger to go into exile following involvement in the month’s-long pro-democracy protest and unrest.
Aurora told the newspaper she had been arrested during demonstrations but police did not charge her with unlawful assembly because she was under 16. She claimed she had been followed by “unknown individuals” in Hong Kong and felt she was in danger.
“[If I] continue to stay in Hong Kong, the situation will only become more and more dangerous. It’s like [I ] can only wait to die and wait until – I don’t know when – police come and purge me,” she told Apple Daily.
Aurora’s move to the UK was assisted by the London-based advocacy group Friends of Hong Kong.
The organisation previously said it worked with Tony Chung, ex-convenor of the pro-independence group Studentlocalism, who reportedly planned to claim asylum at the US consulate. But the 19-year-old activist was arrested and prosecuted under the Beijing-imposed national security law.
In a statement on Monday, the activist group said Aurora would be settling down with her guardians and it would continue advising her about her future in the UK.
“After the release from the UK Border Control, she was relieved and well, as she does not have to face the pressure from the Hong Kong Police Force and the Hong Kong government,” Friends of Hong Kong wrote.
The group’s spokesman Malcolm, who only gave his first name to Apple Daily, added they would arrange counselling services for Aurora who was said to be suffering from depression.
Aurora is the girlfriend of Tsang Chi-kin, a secondary school student shot by police at close range in Tsuen Wan on October 1, 2019. Tsang, then aged 18, was for a time in a critical condition after the bullet pierced his left lung three centimetres from his heart.
He applied for legal aid to file a claim for personal injury against the force, but his application was rejected as the department said he failed to show “reasonable grounds” for making the proceedings.
Tsang is set to plead guilty to one count of rioting and two counts of assaulting police and will appear in court again next Tuesday.
Support press freedom & help us surpass 1,000 monthly Patrons: 100% independent, governed by an ethics code & not-for-profit, Hong Kong Free Press is #PressingOn with impartial, award-winning, frontline coverage.