Hold on, 12 Young Hong Kong Protesters!

Poster listing the names of the 12 Hong Kong youth.

In August, 12 young Hong Kong protesters were arrested by Chinese coastal police while attempting to flee to Taiwan. (Image: Studio Incendo via Flickr)

Carry on, young Hong Kong protesters!

A few months ago, 12 young Hong Kong protesters attempted to flee Hong Kong to Taiwan without success. Some speculate that their reason for attempting to flee Hong Kong was because of their despair amidst the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ruthless crackdown on the Hong Kong people’s peaceful protests. As the Chinese Book of Songs says: “I vow to leave this place, to pursue the place of love.” 

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August 23, 2020, was a hopeful and yet dangerous day for the 12 young protesters. The hopeful youngsters boarded a boat to escape to Taiwan. On the way, the boat was ambushed by the CCP’s coastal police and the 12 youngsters were arrested. But this incident was not made public.

A few days later, the CCP’s Guangdong Coast Police claimed that on August 23, it intercepted a speedboat carrying 12 people who had participated in the “anti-extradition movement.” On September 30, the CCP authorities formally arrested the 12 youths and detained them in Shenzhen Yantian Detention Center. They were charged with the crime of organizing an illegal border crossing.

A sign reads "No Crossing" on a beach in Taiwan.
The youths were charged with the crime of organizing an illegal border crossing. (Image: pixel.fabian via Flickr)

Hongkonger Guo Zhuojian quoted a fisherman friend working at approximately 22 degrees north latitude on an island near the Ninepin Group, Hong Kong. He saw a large mainland maritime police vessel approaching a speedboat. After closing in, the coast police threatened: “Stop your boat, or we will fire!”

CCP authorities refuse to give any information about the 12 young Hong Kong protesters

After being arrested, the 12 Hong Kong protesters lost contact with their families and friends. People from all walks of life in Hong Kong are anxious. For the past two months, the CCP authorities have refused to give out any information about them and have prohibited family members from visiting or contacting them. The authorities also declined the meeting requests made by their attorneys.

Stand News interviewed family members of one of the detained youngsters, 20-year-old Zhang Mingyu. Zhang Mingyu’s 67-year-old father fled to Hong Kong from mainland China during the Cultural Revolution. Zhang’s father said: “I have suffered and experienced the tragedies in the Mainland, but my son wouldn’t listen to me.” He teared up while recalling the past.

Mr. Zhang shared that he once asked his son why he participated in the anti-extradition protests, and his son told him that he was fighting for democracy and freedom for Hong Kong’s next generation. But Zhang Mingyu is still young himself, not even married.

A banner on display in Hong Kong reads: #save 12 HK youths.
Zhang Mingyu told his father that he was fighting for democracy and freedom for Hong Kong’s next generation. (Image: Studio Incendo via Flickr)

Zhang Mingyu’s brother said that he wished to convey these words to his younger brother: “Hang in there, survive this hard time and return to Hong Kong.”

In the past, Hong Kong was a haven for mainlanders who fled there at risk of drowning in the sea, being shot, or being imprisoned by the CCP. If they could get to the other side, the people of Hong Kong welcomed them with open arms. Today, the CCP has destroyed the prosperity and freedom of Hong Kong.

In September, members of the pan-Democratic alliance in Hong Kong launched a one-person-one-postcard campaign to call on Hong Kong people to support the 12 youths who had been Hong Kong protesters in the detention center. Ms. Leung, who works in the education field, expressed her sadness for the 12 Hong Kong people detained in China and hoped that the Hong Kong people’s postcards would provide confidence and support. “Their destiny represents the destiny of our Hong Kong people.”

Translated by Joseph Wu and edited by Angela Moy

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