South China Morning Post
Former Hong Kong lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung has denied being in Denmark to seek political asylum, even as the organiser of his trip was quoted as saying the climate change meetings Hui was purportedly there to attend were fictitious.Media reports on Wednesday evening, meanwhile, suggested that Hui’s family members – including his parents, wife and children – had also left the city.A member of the Democratic Party told the Post on condition of anonymity it was most likely that Hui’s family had left Hong Kong, adding he believed his party colleague was also determined to flee.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.Hui, who is out on bail and faces charges in relation to a protest in July, landed in Denmark on Monday and said he would return to Hong Kong at the end of the week, despite Uffe Elbaek, a member of the Danish parliament and a well-known supporter of the protest movement, saying he would do “whatever to secure your stay”.Elbaek told Danish media that Hui was there to discuss Hong Kong’s political situation, and to pressure the Danish government to take sides. The climate change meetings, he told the outlet Politiken, were a cover Elbaek had concocted in what he described as an act of “civil disobedience”.A source said Hui was expected to meet with Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former secretary general of Nato and the country’s former prime minister, on Thursday.Writing on Twitter, Elbaek said Hui’s arrival would force the Danish government and the foreign minister “to state clearly and unequivocally what side Denmark takes”.“On the side of the democracy movement or on China’s side?” he continued. “With what has happened today, it is no longer a theoretical but a deadly concrete question.”Asked if he planned to seek political asylum, Hui told the Post he “would be back to Hong Kong on Friday”. He said the main purpose of his trip was to attend meetings on the climate and sustainable development. Three former Hong Kong opposition lawmakers charged over anthem law chaos“Elbaek made use of this opportunity of my visit and arranged other meetings on top of the planned schedule so I can also talk about human rights situations in Hong Kong,” Hui said. “But of course the main theme of the trip will be on climate change and sustainable development.”The Democratic Party politician, who resigned along with 14 other opposition lawmakers last month to protest the disqualification of four of their colleagues by the government, was previously granted bail after he faced multiple charges in connection with a July 6 protest at Tuen Mun Police Station.The charges included one count of being involved in an act intended to pervert the course of justice, as well as two counts of obtaining access to a computer with dishonest intent, and criminal damage.Hui stands accused of having incited, induced or instructed a man to delete his mobile phone’s digital content that showed the faces of protesters who might have broken the law.Prosecutors told the court at a hearing in November that Hui planned to travel to Denmark from November 30 to December 4 on a trip about climate change, and wanted the court’s approval.The judge granted permission on the condition Hui tell the court and police 72 hours in advance.Asked if Hui provided details of the event before he left Hong Kong, the judiciary said it would not comment on individual cases. It also said in general, judges and judicial officers dealt with bail strictly in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Ordinance.Hui was also arrested and charged with two offences under the Legco (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance – contempt and interference with the legislature’s officers – over a tumultuous sitting of the House Committee on May 8. He was granted bail in that case, too. Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, associates earn jail sentences for 2019 protestMore Hongkongers have been seeking asylum abroad this year following months of social unrest and the imposition of a controversial national security law, with Australia and Canada emerging as the top destinations for those fleeing the city.At least six activists, including former lawmaker Nathan Law Kwun-chung, who had called for foreign sanctions against the Chinese authorities or advocated independence for Hong Kong have fled the city, either just before or soon after Beijing imposed the new security law on June 30.The law bans secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security.As of September, 136 asylum seekers had headed to Australia, up from about 120 last year, and about 50 in 2018. Canada, meanwhile, had seen 25 Hongkongers seeking refugee status as of June, up from nine last year, and two in 2018.There were also small numbers of applications for asylum in Britain, Germany and New Zealand, with each locale similarly registering an upwards trend.This article Former Hong Kong lawmaker Ted Hui denies being in Denmark to seek political asylum, after he flew to country for meetings on climate change first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2020.