There are currently over 200 pro-democracy figures behind bars or in custody, according to prisoners’ rights group Wall-fare. In all, there were – on average – 7,752 people serving time in Hong Kong in 2019, the latest year statistics are available.
Many people choose to post letters to people within the Hong Kong prison system to show their support, and many detainees invite the public to keep in touch. However, some rules apply.
Writing to key public figures in prison
Some well-known politicians and activists in custody or prison have designated addresses for helpers to organise letters before sending them on in batches.
A list of addresses of key democrats in custody or prison
Raymond Chan Chi-chuen (“Slow beat”), Tam Tak-chi (“Fast beat”): Rm 619, Kinetic Industrial Centre, 7 Wang Kwong Road, Kowloon Bay (People Power)
Au Nok-hin: Rm B2, 4/F, Tai Cheung Factory Building, 3 Wing Ming Street, Cheung Sha Wan
Jeremy Tam Man-ho: Shop 7, G/F, Hung Fai Building, 2Q-2Z Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok (Three Meals)
Henry Wong Pak-yu: G/F, Heng Lai House, Tin Heng Estate, Tin Shui Wai
Ventus Lau: no.8, G/F, Hin Yau House, Hin Keng Estate, Sha Tin
Sam Cheung Ho-sum: Shop 11B, G/F, Greenland Garden, 15 Shek Tai Pau Road, Tuen Mun (Office of district councillor Poon Chi-kin)
Wu Chi-wai: 1/F, 16 Sheung Fung Street, Wong Tai Sin (Office of district councillor Tang Wai-keung)
Lam Cheuk-ting, Andrew Wan Siu-kin: 4/F, Hanley House, 776-778 Nathan Road, Prince Edward (Headquarters of the Democratic Party)
Gary Fan Kwok-wai: B190, 1/F, Well On Garden Shopping Arcade, 9 Yuk Nga Lane, Tseung Kwan O
Roy Tam Hoi-pong:Store at Podium (Near Block H) of Luk Yeung Sun Chuen, 22-26 Wai Tsuen Road, Tsuen Wan (or Rm B, G/F, 218 Ma Wan Main Street Central, Ma Wan)
Winnie Yu Wai-ming: Rm 1603, 10th floor, Perfect Commercial Building, 20 Austin Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui
Ng Kin-wai: Rm 251, +WOO Phase 1, Tin Shui Wai (or offices of district councillors Leon Kwan, Lam Chun and Frasier Hau)
Jimmy Sham, Leung Kwok-hung (“Long hair”): Rm B2, 4/F, Tai Cheong Factory Building, 3 Wing Ming Street, Cheung Sha Wan (League of Social Democrats)
Eddie Chu Hoi-dick: Rm 101, G/F, Hong Shui House, Shui Pin Wai Estate, Yuen Long
Lester Shum: P.O. Box no. 33854, Sheung Wan Post Office
Tiffany Yuen Ka-wai: Unit 8, G/F, Tin Lai House, Tin Wan Estate, Aberdeen
Gwyneth Ho Kwai-lam and Joshua Wong: P.O. Box no. 73962, Kowloon Central Post Office (do not state the name of addressee on envelope)
Carol Ng Man-yee: 19/F Wing Wong Commercial Building, 557-559 Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei (mark “letter to Carol Ng” on envelope)
Andy Chui Chi-kin: No.29, G/F, Yue Shun House, Yue Wan Estate, Chai Wan (mark “letter to Andy Chui” on envelope)
Other detainees: Rm 1101, Kowloon Plaza, 485 Castle Peak Road, Lai Chi Kok (posted by Wall-fare)
Pen pal pair-up services
Prisoners’ rights groups such as Wall-fare and Swallow Life pair up jailed protesters with members of the public as pen pals. You can send letters to these organisations if you wish to write to, or become pen pals with, lesser-known prisoners and remands.
Otherwise, if you wish to write to convicts or remands directly, one has to put the prisoner or remand’s full name, registration number, and the facility that they are kept in on the envelope for the letter to reach them.
What can I write about?
Letters sent to prisoners and remands will be opened and searched by members of staff of the Correction Services Department (CSD). According to the Prison Rules, letters cannot include contents which mention illegal activities, obscenities, actions that might incite “physical violence or group disruption” inside prisons, or information and other materials related to escape plots.
It is also advisable to write the registration number of the person in prison or custody on each page of the letter. If you would like to include a return address for any replies, you should also write it in the letter, as the envelope will be taken away by the CSD.
You should not use glitter pens, correction tape or fluid, or put stickers or glitter on the letter.
Can I send cards?
Yes. However, each prisoner and remand can only keep 20 cards in their possession at a time, any extra cards will only be given to them upon their release or thrown away.
Can I send gifts or money?
You are not allowed to put anything else in the envelope apart from the letter, including stamps, money, return envelopes, or newspaper clippings. Any other items included in the letter will only be given to the prisoners when they are released.
Books, food, and some other items approved by the CSD can only be given to prisoners during social visits.
How many letters can I send?
There is no limit to the number of letters a person in custody or prison can receive. However, a prisoner can only send one maximum-four-page letter per week at the public expense, and they have to pay for the stationery and postage for any additional letters.
How can I visit prisoners or remands?
You can only visit people in custody or prison if they have declared you as a visitor. Once declared, persons remanded in custody can be visited once daily for no more than 15 minutes, while prisoners are allowed visits twice a month for no more than 30 minutes each time.
Last updated: March 19, 2021.