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“Escape From Hong Kong! Activist Fleeing National Security Police’s Draconian Surveillance Seeks Refuge in UK

The fight for freedom of speech in Hong Kong is taking a drastic turn with reports of the local government increasingly cracking down on local political activism. In a fresh example of these strict and oppressive measures, it has been reported that Yuan Shenggao, a Hong Kong dissident and political activist, has been forced to flee to the United Kingdom citing stringent surveillance by national security police following his recent prison release. Yuan Shenggao was initially arrested in October 2019 on charges related to pro-democracy protests taking place in Hong Kong at the time. He was later released in July 2020 after serving an 11-month jail sentence. He was subjected to constant monitoring and surveillance even after his release. This leads to his being unable to communicate or interact with anyone for fear of the repercussions. These oppressive measures set against him coupled with the constant fear of being arrested again eventually led him to flee the country to seek asylum in the United Kingdom. Yuan Shenggao’s plight serves as yet another example of the political repression taking place within Hong Kong in recent times. Other prominent cases include Jimmy Lai, Martin Lee, and Ray Wong. Though their cases have received widespread attention worldwide, the repression against them and other activists in Hong Kong continues. This is seen in the increasing number of pro-Beijing laws that are making it more difficult for the people of Hong Kong to express their dissent without fear of the law. The international community has expressed concern over the state of affairs in Hong Kong, calling for an immediate end to the suppression of freedom of speech and political dissent. However, with the Chinese government failing to make any significant efforts to protect the rights of its people, the situation is likely to continue with further reports of activists like Yuan Shenggao being forced to flee to safety in other countries.