Two activists who skipped bail after being charged with rioting in Mong Kok say they are now under refugee protection in Germany, a report said.
The New York Times said activists Ray Wong, 25, and Alan Li, 27, have come forward to say they have been granted refugee status by the German government.
Two years ago, the two were facing rioting charges over the 2016 Lunar new year clashes in Mong Kok, which erupted after a dispute over the clearance of food vendors. Pitched street battles saw mobs attack police officers with bricks and sticks.
They skipped bail and fled to Germany in 2017 and applied for protection – which they said was approved last May.
Germany’s migration and refugee office confirmed it had awarded two applicants from Hong Kong refugee protection last year, but didn't name them.
Wong, who led pro-independence group Hong Kong Indigenous, said in an interview last year in Frankfurt that if the German government thought Hong Kong's judiciary was independent, it would not grant him refugee status.
Several people have been jailed for between three to seven years for their roles in the Mong Kok riots.
Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng was asked to respond to the report, and whether she thought the German government’s decision had shown that foreign countries are losing confidence in Hong Kong’s rule of law.
“Your statement is based on an assumption that I haven’t seen the evidence of,” she said. “It is a statement that is reported in a particular media, I’m not able therefore to really comment on that media or that basis of assumption at this stage.”