“This is not immigration, this is exile!”
Since China imposed a total blockade, many Hong Kong people who have left Hong Kong National Security Law (NSL) Almost a year ago, it was uncertain when – or forever – they would be able to go home.
Since demonstrations swept the city in 2019, democratic activists and elected politicians have faced increasing pressure. Some were accused of security crimes that could be sentenced to life imprisonment, while others were jailed for organizing and participating in protests.
Thursday, the police Arrest five executives The democratic newspaper “Apple Daily” established in 1995 accused them of “colluding with foreign forces”, which is a crime stipulated by the NSL.
Enter the lifeboat
Hong Kong people began to flee abroad reluctantly to avoid the risk of arbitrary arrest or to keep a distance from places they no longer know
On October 14, 2020, the first Hong Kong protester was granted asylum in Germany. Since then, Britain, Canada, Australia and other countries have launched various “lifeboat” programs for Hong Kong pro-democracy activists who need asylum.
The European Parliament also passed a resolution calling on member states to participate in the international lifeboat program.
This British planIt was launched on January 31 and opened the way to citizenship.
According to data from the University of Oxford, approximately 34,000 Hong Kong people applied for visas in the UK within three months after the launch of the program.
Some people who move have enough savings to support their new home or transferable skills, making it easier to find a job. Others are not so lucky. They are forced to share cramped residences in the UK because they are trying to rebuild their lives thousands of kilometers away from home.
They come from different parts of Hong Kong, are different people, and have different experiences, but they are united, committed to democracy and freedom, and are afraid to return to where they once felt belonging.