The Human Rights and Civil Rights Front (CHRF), which supports many large-scale protests in Hong Kong, announced on Sunday that it was disbanding itself, citing increasing repression.
The Human Rights and Civil Rights Front (CHRF), the coalition behind the massive democratic protests in Hong Kong in 2019, announced on Sunday (August 15) that it was disbanding itself on the grounds that it had suppressed the protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
“Civil society faces unprecedented difficulties and challenges,” the movement said in a statement.
CHRF was established in 2002 to promote non-violence and is the origin of many large-scale protests in Hong Kong, including the protests in 2019, sometimes gathering more than 1 million people in this city of 7.3 million residents.
Most activists of the movement were arrested
These demonstrations were sometimes violent and later led to a forceful takeover by the Chinese central government. Beijing especially implemented a national security law in 2020. In fact, the law criminalizes the expression of any form of opposition in Hong Kong. More than 60 people were arrested for this harsh text.
Many members of the opposition and Western capitals accused Beijing of reshaping the former British colony in accordance with its image and ending the 1997 handover with the principle of “one country, two systems.”
On the other hand, China claims that the National Security Law is necessary to restore order in Hong Kong after the 2019 protests.
Most CHRF activists have been arrested and imprisoned, including former movement leaders Jimmy Sham and Figo Chan.
According to the latest statistics from Agence France-Presse, about 30 other civil society organizations have been disbanded due to fear of repression.
On August 10, Hong Kong’s largest trade union, the Professional Teachers Union (PTU), which had 95,000 members and played an important role in the pro-democracy movement, clearly collapsed. A few days ago, Chinese state media published an article about the union, calling it a “malignant tumor that must be removed.”