Convicted of Contempt of Court, Former Hong Kong Legislator Ted Hui Condemns Political Prosecution

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Ted Hui Chi-fung, a former member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong who skipped bail and fled overseas, is wanted by the Hong Kong Police Force. He condemned the Hong Kong High Courts for not following the rule of law and for politically prosecuting him, and said that he would continue to speak up for Hong Kong’s right to freedom.

On June 2, the Hong Kong Court announced that Hui was guilty of contempt of court in absentia. Hui responded in  social media, saying in Chinese and English that the authorities’ charges against him were “unfounded,” and that he despised the Hong Kong Court for deviating from the rule of law.

Now living in Australia, Hui told the Australian media SBS News: “These are the absurd political accusations against me. They are used to suppress dissidents, and it is their motivation to launch these criminal charges.”

“Any criminal charges and sentences filed or imposed against me by the regime do not take away my freedom of speech to advocate on the international political stage, nor does it deter my resolution in fighting against this tyrannical government. I will continue my lobbying work on an international scale, bring together Hong Kong people and society overseas, and across boundaries to speak up for Hong Kong’s right to freedom,” Said Hui.

Hui was a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong starting in 2016. In 2020, he resigned to protest the disqualification of some democratic legislators.

In 2019, the anti-extradition movement broke out in Hong Kong, when millions of Hongkongers took to the streets to protest the amendment of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance that would allow extradition of Hong Kong people to mainland China for trial.

Hui has always supported the anti-extradition movement, and often appeared at street protests in an attempt to dissuade the police from suppressing the protesters. He appealed to the Hong Kong High Court in early 2020 and asked the police to report the components in the tear gas they used on the protesters. He accused the traffic police, who shot at the demonstrators, of “intention to murder” and “shoot with the intention of causing serious bodily injury.”

He was arrested by the Hong Kong Police on several charges for participating in the movement and for fighting in Parliament as a legislator. He was later released on bail pending trial.

At the end of November 2020, with the permission of the court, Hui left Hong Kong to visit Denmark for official business at the invitation of a member of the Danish Parliament. A few days later, Hui officially announced his exile through social media and that he quit the Hong Kong Democratic Party.

A few days after his announcement, his bank accounts and those of at least one relative, with millions of Hong Kong dollars in HSBC, Hang Seng, and Bank of China Hong Kong were frozen. Subsequently, his credit cards were also deactivated. Eventually, the bank accounts were reinstated.

In April this year, Hui revealed on social media that the Hong Kong High Court, under a request from the Department of Justice, issued a “property restriction order” on him, his wife, and his mother, under the National Security Law. Hui believes that the Hong Kong officials wanted to put pressure on him by freezing his property and thus, keep him silent.

In October 2021, Hui emigrated to Australia. Using social media, he advised Hong Kong voters to cast blank votes to boycott the controversial Legislative Council election. He believes that this is “the silent fighting from the best of Hongkongers.” Hui was wanted again by the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption on suspicion of violating the relevant election regulations. Last October, the Hong Kong Department of Justiceaccused him of contempt of court for providing false information and for jumping bail.

In December 2020, the Hong Kong Police issued a wanted notice for Hui and 30 other Hongkongers living abroad, on suspicion of violation of the National Security Law.

Xueling Teng

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