Disturbing video out of Hong Kong shows family members of “political prisoners” saying hysterical goodbyes after China rounded them up onto buses headed for reeducation camps in the mainland.
The heartbreaking footage shows a group of desperate Hong Kongers banging on the barred windows of the bus as it drives away to the Chinese mainland.
Joshua Wong, Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow, who spearheaded the Umbrella Movement in 2019 against Communist China’s encroachment of Hong Kong’s sovereignty, were among the political prisoners boarded in the vans after getting sentenced last week for their roles in the mass protests.
From Time Magazine:
Analysts see the ruling as casting a pall over the broader pro-democracy movement. “These three are widely seen as icons pushing the limits of democracy in Hong Kong in defiance of Beijing,” says Willy Lam, a political scientist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “Their sentencing will strike fear into the hearts of pro-democracy supporters.”
Authorities have arrested more than 10,000 protesters since June last year in a crackdown that has netted everyone from pensioners to primary school students. But it’s done little to resolve the underlying tensions in a city where much of the population lionizes democratic ideals but is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
Earlier in May, Wong described how Communist China was actively intimidating him, threatening him with kidnapping and even “extraordinary rendition.”
“No matter what, I am always targeted by Beijing,” he said.
“For years, strange vans and shadowy men have trailed him. He and his girlfriend were once assaulted when leaving a movie theater. He has been pelted with eggs and fists and branded a ‘traitor‘ by the Chinese foreign ministry. Last year, he was snatched off the street and stuffed into a minivan by police,” Time reported.
China was losing control of the mass protests in late 2019, but the coronavirus pandemic shortly squelched Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement just a few months later as various governments began imposing strict lockdowns worldwide.
In July, President Trump responded to China’s totalitarian actions toward Hong Kong with an executive order that would “hold responsible” Communist China’s efforts to “extinguish Hong Kong’s freedom.”
“This law gives my administration powerful new tools to hold responsible the individuals and the entities involved in extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedom,” Trump said.
“Their freedom has been taken away. Their rights have been taken away, and with it goes Hong Kong in my opinion because it will no longer be able to compete with free markets. A lot of people will be leaving Hong Kong, I suspect,” Trump added.
It seems many people are leaving – via reeducation buses – and it remains unclear how Trump’s EO addresses the blatant fascism that continues in Hong Kong.