Four young leaders of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement announced their resignation on Tuesday, hours after the controversial national security law was passed by the Chinese parliament. Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, Jeffrey Ngo and Agnes Chow said they were leaving Demosisto, a political party hated by Beijing and campaigning in particular for real universal suffrage in the former British colony.
All four, however, said that they would continue to campaign on an individual basis, which suggests that they wish to protect Demosisto from prosecution or exclusion with the entry into force of this security law.
“I will continue to defend my house, Hong Kong, until they silence me and eliminate me from this land,” Joshua Wong, a famous pro-democracy activist, wrote on Facebook.
Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, two of the leaders of the Umbrella Movement in 2014, are running for election to the Hong Kong Legislative Council in September.
The members of LegCo, the Hong Kong Parliament, are only partially elected by universal suffrage, according to a complex system aimed at securing a majority in the pro-Beijing camp.
The pro-democracy parties are hopeful of winning most of the eligible seats on this Council by capitalizing on the growing public anger at Beijing.
Activists like Joshua Wong, who has detained him for his activities, are regularly attacked by the Chinese media who describe them as “separatists” even though Demosisto does not call for independence of Hong Kong.
Rights groups fear that this security law, passed by the national parliament on Tuesday morning, will be used to muzzle personalities and parties wanting Hong Kong to enjoy greater autonomy.
However, it is difficult at the moment to know the real consequences of this text, its precise content remaining secret until now.
Beijing has however revealed the main lines, saying that the law intends to repress “separatism”, “terrorism”, “subversion” and “collusion with external and foreign forces”.
A similar law is in force in mainland China and it makes it possible to crush any form of dispute for facts notably of “subversion” and “collusion”.
For Beijing, this text aims to put an end to the monster pro-democracy demonstrations that rocked Hong Kong last year.
Chinese authorities say it will only affect a minority of people, especially those campaigning for independence.