Hongkonger Detained by National Security Police Shows Fearlessness With Smiles

Hongkonger Detained by National Security Police Shows Fearlessness With Smiles - On the morning on Aug. 10, the National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police arrested ten individuals, including former staff of the "612 Humanitarian Relief Fund" ("612 Fund"). They were accused of conspiring to collude with foreign or overseas forces to endanger national security and inciting riots. This marks the largest-scale arrest operation by the Hong Kong police since Dong Jingwei, deputy minister of the CCP’s Ministry of State Security, was appointed as the head of the Chinese Office for Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong last month.

Hongkonger Detained by National Security Police Shows Fearlessness With Smiles

Hongkonger Detained by National Security Police Shows Fearlessness With Smiles

On the morning on Aug. 10, the National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police arrested ten individuals, including former staff of the "612 Humanitarian Relief Fund" ("612 Fund"). They were accused of conspiring to collude with foreign or overseas forces to endanger national security and inciting riots. This marks the largest-scale arrest operation by the Hong Kong police since Dong Jingwei, deputy minister of the CCP’s Ministry of State Security, was appointed as the head of the Chinese Office for Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong last month.

The Hong Kong police alleged that the ten individuals arrested on Aug. 10 were involved in a conspiracy related to the  "612 Fund," accepting donations from different overseas organizations and providing financial assistance to some organizations supporting individuals who had fled overseas or who advocated sanctions against Hong Kong. The police also said more arrests might follow.

The "612 Fund" has long been under scrutiny by the Hong Kong government. Its five trustees and fund secretary were already arrested in 2022 on charges of colluding with foreign forces.

One of the arrested this time is Bobo Yip Po-lam, a former employee of the “612 Fund.” On the afternoon of August 10, Ms. Yip was escorted by the police to search a bookstore where she works. After staying there for about an hour, the police took away a computer and a few exhibits. Soon when a large group of media personnel arrived, Ms. Yip appeared undaunted under the police escort, smiling at the cameras, and making the "OK" gesture to the media.

Ms. Yip was released on bail in the early morning of Aug. 11. When she left the Ma On Shan Police Station, she clasped her hands together, bowed to the media present, and said, "Thanks for all your hard work."

Former Spokesperson of Anti-CCP Brainwashing Organization

Ms. Yip is a social activist in Hong Kong. In 2007, she drew the public's attention for defending the Queen's Pier, a colonial-era structure left behind in 2007, along with individuals such as Eddie Chu Hoi-dick (who later became a member of the Legislative Council and is now remanded on charges of "conspiracy to commit subversion" for participating in the pro-democracy primary election), and Chan King-fai, and forming the “Land Justice League."

Later, in 2012, she opposed the Hong Kong government's implementation of the CCP-style of moral and national education in schools and served as the spokesperson of the "People's Alliance Against National Education." As a "Land Justice League member," she participated in the defense of Choi Yuen Village, a village that was being demolished to make way for the high-speed rail project. She also opposed the government's development plans in the northeastern New Territories.

On June 6, 2014, when the Legislative Council was reviewing the early-stage funding for the development of Northeast New Territories, many demonstrators stormed the Legislative Council building. More than 20 people, including Ms. Yip, were later prosecuted for "violating the administrative orders issued under the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance." She was sentenced to two weeks in prison and fined HK$1,000 (US$128). She appealed her conviction and sentence to the Court of Final Appeal but was later rejected in 2019 and had to serve her sentence immediately.

Funding for the early-stage development of Northeast New Territories was finally approved, but Ms. Yip criticized the squatter compensation scheme introduced by the government to threaten and lure the evicted residents. She also pointed out that in recent years, the government plans to reclaim more than 1,000 hectares of land in Hong Kong to build an artificial island, which reflects the government's continuation of its unjustified development. She urged the public to continue opposing the government's development plan for Northeast New Territories.

Senior CCP Intelligence Official Appointed Director of CCP National Security Office in HK

The CCP announced on July 18 that 59-year-old Dong Jingwei would serve as the director of the Chinese Office for Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong. Mr. Dong has, for all his career, been working in the intelligence department of the CCP. Since April 2018, he has been the deputy minister of the Ministry of National Security of the CCP, in charge of Hong Kong and Macau affairs.

In 2019, the anti-extradition protest movement broke out in Hong Kong. At the end of June 2020, the CCP forcibly enacted the "Hong Kong National Security Law" and set up a national security office in Hong Kong. Zheng Yanxiong, the former secretary of the Shanwei Municipal Party Committee who had dealt with the Wukan incident with an iron fist, served as its first director. After Mr. Zheng was transferred to become director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong in January, the post of director of the National Security Bureau was vacant for more than half a year, before Mr. Dong was appointed.

After the 20th National Congress of the CCP in 2022, Mr. Dong published an article in the weekly journal "Democracy and the Legal System," claiming that in the face of external elements instigating the "Hong Kong version of the color revolution,” the “Hong Kong National Security Law," together with the revision of Annexes I and II of Hong Kong's Basic Law, it had successfully realized the concept of "patriots ruling Hong Kong."

'612 Fund' Accused of Collusion With Foreign Elements

The "612 Fund" was established in 2019 to provide funds for legal, medical, emotional, and other humanitarian support to the injured and arrested due to participation in the anti-extradition movement.

According to the progress report released by the fund at the end of May 2020, the fund's total income was more than HK$140 million (US$18 million), with a total expenditure of about HK$87 million (US$11 million), of which more than HK$74 million (US$9.5 million) were direct support to the recipients. According to the annual progress report published in July 2021, the fund's total income was HK$236 million (US$30.3 million), and its expenditure rose to HK$232 million (US$30 million), of which HK$212 million (US$30.3 million) was used to provide direct support to the recipients. And the number of beneficiaries was about 23,000.

The Hong Kong government began implementing the "Hong Kong National Security Law" in mid-2020. Many civil organizations supporting detainees were disbanded or prosecuted by the authorities for "fraud" and "money laundering," and the "612 Fund" was not immune. In 2021, the Secretary for Security, Chris Tang Ping-keung, publicly accused the fund of sending letters to detainees, calling on them to continue to fight.

"Alliance for True Democracy," which was responsible for administering the 612 Fund, announced in August 2021 that it was dissolving and could no longer carry out disbursement instructions for the 612 Fund, and the fund announced on the same day that it planned to cease operations in an orderly manner at the end of October.

Before the fund announced its decision to suspend operations, it had already been attacked by many pro-communist media, claiming that it had not registered as an organization and had "colluded with foreign elements." They even asked the National Security Department to intervene in the investigation. In September 2021, the police asked the "612 Fund" to comply with the "order to make material available," and hand over fundraising details and donor information.

Although the "612 Fund" was only established for two years and ended under the threat of the "National Security Law" in 2021, the fund and its key members cannot withdraw completely unscathed.

The Arrest of 5 Trustees, Fund Secretary, Including Joseph Zen Ze-kiun

The five trustees of the fund, including 90-year-old Catholic Hong Kong Diocese Emeritus Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Canadian Hong Kong singer Denise Ho, British Hong Kong practicing barrister Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, and the secretary of the fund Sze Sing-wai, a total of six people, were arrested in May 2022 by the National Security Department on suspicion of "colluding with foreign elements."

As a cardinal, a rank just second to the Pope in the Vatican, the news of Cardinal Zen’s arrest has attracted widespread international attention.

However, the six people mentioned above were not prosecuted under the "Hong Kong National Security Law" but were charged with violating the "Societies Ordinance," saying that they did not apply for registration or exemption from registration within the specified time limit. Each was finally convicted in November 2022 and fined HK$4,000 (US$512) and $2,500 (US$320), respectively.

The authorities, however, have not spared anyone involved with the fund, including arresting its former staff members this month.