Hong Kong’s largest opposition civic organization disbanded

News Ghana, Latest Updates and Breaking News of Ghana, DPA, https://ift.tt/3AMZJ9h

Hong Kong’s largest pro-democracy civic organization announced its dissolution on Sunday.

The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), which organized many of the largest anti-government protests in 2019, drawing millions to the streets at the height of democracy protests, announced the move in a statement.

“All member groups have been suppressed and civil society is facing an unprecedented severe challenge,” CHRF wrote in a statement.

The organization said it had always aimed to stand up for human rights and the freedom of the Hong Kong people. However, it said the government has repeatedly used the pandemic as an excuse to deny requests for public rallies since last year.

Moreover, no one was willing to take over the leadership of the organization any more, it said. The former leader of the group, Figo Chan, is currently serving an 18-month prison sentence for organizing an unauthorized assembly in 2019.

Hong Kong police began investigating the group in April this year, requesting information on the group’s activities and funding.

In a police statement issued Sunday, the force said the CHRF failed to submit requested information within a designated time frame and that concurrently investigations would continue.

On June 30, 2020, Beijing’s rulers passed a national security law for Hong Kong that massively curtails the political rights of the political opposition as well as civil rights organizations. Since then, several associations and trade unions have already announced their dissolution.

In their statement, the police said that the group had not registered with a required “Companies Registry” nor registered with the “Police Licensing Office” as a legal society.

“In addition, since its establishment in 2002, CHRF had never registered with the Companies Registry as a company, nor registered with Police Licensing Office as a legal society. As such, CHRF has been operating illegally,” the statement read.

In the statement, the force said that the organization and its members remained “criminally liable” for any committed offence regardless of whether it or its members had disbanded.

Hong Kong politician Nathan Law, who fled to Britain after the security law was imposed and was successfully granted political asylum in April of this year, told dpa that the CHRF had been the “bedrock of civil society.”

“The CHRF has served Hong Kong people for the past 19 years. They have been the bedrock of civil society and supportive to different social movements for social justice,” he said.

“Witnessing the dissolution of CHRF is painful. It symbolizes the demise of Hong Kong’s civil society and the government’s omnipresent suppression to quash dissident voices,” he added.

Law said that although civil organizations had fallen “one by one,” Hong Kong people were still eager to have their voices heard and to fight for their freedoms.

The CHRF, or The Front as its known locally, was comprised of more than 50 groups who campaigned together for human rights and the protection of civil liberties in Hong Kong for almost two decades.

News Ghana, Latest Updates and Breaking News of Ghana, DPA, https://ift.tt/3AMZJ9h

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