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Final nail in HK's coffin, warns fugitive activist

2019-06-05 HKT 09:14
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  • Final nail in HK's coffin, warns fugitive activist
Ray Wong
Two Hong Kong activists recently granted asylum by Germany have voiced their concerns to German lawmakers over the SAR government's proposed extradition law changes, saying they will put an end to Hong Kong's unique status.

Speaking at a June 4 forum organised by politicians in Berlin, Ray Wong – the former leader of the pro-independence group Hong Kong Indigenous – said that if the amendments are passed, they will break the firewall between the territory and the mainland – impacting One Country, Two Systems.

"I would say this law is the final nail in the coffin," he said.

Speaking for the first time at a public event since he was granted refugee status, Wong expressed the hope that the international community could pressure Hong Kong to rethink its action.

Wong said he was initially worried he would be extradited when he was seeking Germany's protection, until he met another refugee.

He said that ever since he set up the pro-independence group, the central and Hong Kong governments had viewed him as a threat. Apart from barring him from standing in elections, he claimed the SAR authorities tried to use riot charges against him and several others including localist Edward Leung.

He said such the charges had been criticised by the United Nations as violating human rights. But Wong told the forum that his views have changed over the past few years and he no longer advocates Hong Kong independence.

Alan Li, a former member of Hong Kong Indigenous, added that he believes Hong Kong is in a very dangerous situation with the extradition bill about to be passed. He said the legislation will damage the SAR's judicial system, and will lead to the departure of businessmen, causing damage to Hong Kong's economic development.

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.