Former pro-democracy legislator Ted Hui violated Hong Kong’s national security law by recently publishing posts on social media urging Hongkongers to canvass international support, the police said on Monday.
The force also explained its demands for banks to suspend bank accounts held by Hui and his family members, saying the action had nothing to do with his taking flight from Hong Kong last week.
“We have frozen the accounts based on the movement of the funds, which is not related to whether the accounts belong to his family members,” Steve Li, senior superintendent of the police’s national security department, told reporters.
Banks in the city have frozen HK$850,000 (US$109,700) upon the police’s request.
Li claimed that calls from some people to canvass support from the international community constituted acts of collaborating with foreign forces, a crime under the national security law, which was imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong on June 30. He did not specify whom he was referring to, but added that the police had gathered “prima facie evidence” supporting claims the legislation had been breached.
In response, Hui said on Facebook that Li’s remarks were an “extended smear campaign” against him and his family.
Barrister Chow Hang-tung argued that Hui’s status updates on Facebook were part of freedom of speech and could not be considered as violating the national security law as the legislation did not outlaw people from talking about Hong Kong and requesting foreign countries to support the city.
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