Hong Kong national security police have taken away for questioning the ex-wife, daughter and son of one of the eight overseas-based activists for whom HK$1 million bounties have been offered, local media reported citing sources on Thursday.

Outlets including Ming Pao, RTHK and Now News reported that Elmer Yuen’s ex-wife, daughter and son were questioned on Thursday, in the latest reported move against families of the eight pro-democracy figures.

Elmer Yuen
Elmer Yuen. Photo: Elmer Yuen, via Facebook.

Police last week questioned Yuen’s children from another marriage, Mimi and Derek Yuen, and his pro-Beijing daughter-in-law, lawmaker Eunice Yung.

Yuen, a businessman now based in the US, is one of the eight democrats wanted by the national security police, with a HK$1 million bounty offered for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of each.

HKFP has reached out to the police for comment.

The 74-year-old is accused of committing subversion and collusion with foreign forces. The others are ex-lawmakers Ted Hui and Dennis Kwok; activists Nathan Law, Anna Kwok, Mung Siu-tat and Finn Lau; and solicitor Kevin Yam.

Yuen is alleged to have urged foreign countries to impose sanctions on Hong Kong officials and members of the judiciary on various online platforms between July 2020 and May 2023.

He was also allegedly among the activists behind a plan to form a Hong Kong Parliament last year, which promoted Hongkongers’ right to self-determination. Such acts amounted to subverting state power and foreign collusion, police claimed.

The posters about the eight democrats wanted by the national security police on a notice board
The posters about the eight democrats wanted by the national security police on a notice board. Photo; Kyle Lam/HKFP.

According to the wording of the security law, the legislation applies internationally to all individuals.

In June 2020, Beijing inserted national security legislation directly into Hong Kong’s mini-constitution – bypassing the local legislature – following a year of pro-democracy protests and unrest. It criminalised subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces and terrorist acts, which were broadly defined to include disruption to transport and other infrastructure.

The move gave police sweeping new powers, alarming democrats, civil society groups and trade partners, as such laws have been used broadly to silence and punish dissidents in China. However, the authorities say it has restored stability and peace to the city.

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.