Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law grants Britain asylum

Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law said he was granted political asylum in Britain almost nine months after arriving in London.

“After several interviews every four months, the Home Office informed me that my asylum claim was approved,” he said on Twitter Wednesday.

“The fact that I’m required under national security law shows that I’m under serious political persecution and unlikely to return to Hong Kong without risk,” he said. wrote.

The law left Hong Kong and arrived in the United Kingdom in July 2020 after the Chinese administration imposed strict national security laws on the former British colonies.

The law empowers Beijing to target individuals for withdrawal, destruction, and collusion with foreign troops, with the greatest penalties for life imprisonment.

The law thanked those who helped him along the way, but expressed concern about the fate of other Hong Kong asylum seekers who may be less fortunate than him.

“Some people may not have enough evidence to substantiate their claims because of lack of media coverage or fleeing before persecution. Fear that their claims will be denied. , Most of them live in pain and anxiety, “he said.

He said he hoped his own case could “help the Home Office understand more about the complex situation in Hong Kong.”

He suggested that “to free more protesters from Beijing’s authoritarian crackdown, the Home Office could consider more comprehensive evidence in dealing with the Hong Kong case.” ..

China’s Foreign Ministry accused Britain of giving asylum to the law on Thursday, calling it “significant interference with Hong Kong’s judicial system.”

Also on Thursday, the UK Government launched a £ 43 million ($ 59 million) dedicated support package to help Hong Kong British National (Overseas) status holders and their families successfully settle into life in the UK. Announced the increase.

After the Chinese administration adopted Hong Kong’s National Security Act in June 2020, the United Kingdom launched a new visa scheme to provide BN (O) status holders with a path to citizenship.

As of March 19, approximately 27,000 BN (O) status holders and their families had applied for special visas, according to the British Home Office.

Last year, the government estimated that 123,000 to 153,000 Hong Kongers could take the route in the first year, which could reach 258,000 to 322,000 in five years.

Reuters contributed to this report.