Hong Kong is currently facing a major surge in COVID-19 cases. Detained pro-democracy activists are facing a major risk from the spread of the virus if they remain in detention. This information is published by Human Rights Watch (HRW). Here is an excerpt:
Hong Kong authorities should release the hundreds of arbitrarily detained pro-democracy leaders and activists who are now at heightened risk from the city’s surge in Covid-19, the Hong Kong Democracy Council and Human Rights Watch said today.
The labor union leader Lee Cheuk-yan, 65, and the barrister and pro-democracy leader Albert Ho, 70, have tested positive for Covid-19, media have reported. Veteran activist Koo Sze-yiu, 75, who suffers from Stage 4 rectal cancer, was earlier reported to be Covid positive, but a later report said he is not. Koo was taken into custody on February 4, ahead of his planned protest against the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. He was originally arrested for “inciting subversion” and later charged with “sedition.” He has not been seen since February 5, and did not appear in a court hearing on March 3 due to his “unsuitable physical condition,” the prosecution said.
“Hong Kong authorities are making a bad situation even worse by incarcerating unjustly held democracy activists in detention facilities amid the city’s spike in Covid-19,” said Maya Wang, senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch.
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