Hong Kong police investigate family of pro-democracy activist wanted for National Security Law violations

Hong Kong’s national security police reportedly took away and questioned the ex-wife and two children of Elmer Yuan Gong-yi on Thursday. Yuan, who has fled Hong Kong, is a pro-democracy activist wanted by Hong Kong authorities as a fugitive accused of violating the National Security Law.

Hong Kong police questioned Yuan’s ex-wife and children at the Western and Wan Chai police stations for hours. They were questioned as to whether they were in contact with Yuan or had extended him financial support. While police did not arrest any of the three, the National Security Department purportedly said that they would continue investigating local contacts of all eight pro-democracy fugitives—including Yuan—and restrict any aid the fugitives may be receiving.

Previously on July 3, the Hong Kong Police Force offered HK$1 million bounties for the arrest of eight pro-democracy fugitives accused of breaching the National Security Law. Potential local contacts of several other pro-democracy fugitives have also been similarly questioned by the national security police. On July 3, Hong Kong’s national security police raided and questioned the family of Nathan Law on whether they had assisted Law. Then on July 20, the national security police questioned relatives of Dennis Kwok and Mung Siu-tat, claiming that the fugitives’ relatives “are all suspected of assisting persons wanted by Police to continue to commit acts and engage in activities that endanger national security.”

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government has demonstrated support for the National Security Department in arresting the eight pro-democracy fugitives. It stated that safeguarding national security of Hong Kong is a constitutional responsibility and that the government will actively “prevent, suppress and impose punishment for any act and activity endangering national security in accordance with the National Security Law and other relevant laws.”

In addition, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said, “The eight wanted criminals have breached Hong Kong national security law, endangered national security and been involved in serious crimes … As I have said, everyone should treat them as street rats and avoid [them] at all costs.”