Germany confers Hong Kong pro-democracy protester asylum

BERLIN — A 22-year-old university student from Hong Kong says she’s been granted refugee status by Germany after demonstrating from the town’s extradition law.

Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees would neither affirm nor deny awarding the protester asylum, citing the nation’s strict privacy legislation.

However, the girl, who identified himself only as Elaine and failed to offer other private details to safeguard her loved ones in Hong Kong, revealed The Associated Press paperwork confirming her refugee status was awarded Oct. 14.

She also told the AP in a phone interview late Tuesday she fled Hong Kong in November while free on bond after being arrested on allegations of rioting and breaking up the semi-autonomous Chinese land’s law prohibiting masks, released last year since anti-government protests became violent.

“I am very thankful to the authorities for covering my basic requirements, including health care when I needed to be treated for mental health difficulties,” she explained. “However, I wish they can simplify the application process, shorten the waiting period, and let’s choose where we can live while we had been waiting.”

Haven Assistance, a team set up by pro-democracy activists from exile to help other Hong Kong residents seeking asylum, welcomed the information, but advocated Germany and Europe as a whole to perform to assist protesters seeking refuge.

“While Haven Assistance welcomes the German government’s decision to grant asylum to the Hong Kong protester, we also advocate Germany and other European nations to continue to boost their asylum procedures and consider enacting a thorough lifeboat coverage for Hong Kongers,” the team said in a release this week.

Protests from the Hong Kong authorities roiled the town this past year after police tried to present a bill that would permit criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China.

The legislation outlaws subversive, secessionist, and terrorist activities, in addition to collusion with foreign forces to intervene in the town’s internal affairs.

The legislation prompted many youthful pro-democracy residents to create plans to depart town permanently. On August, 12 youthful activists hoping to flee to Taiwan by speedboat were captured by Chinese coast guards and arrested in China.

Germany was the first European nation to provide Hong Kong activist asylum as it allowed Wong and fellow pro-democracy protester Alan Li Tung Sing the standing in 2018 ahead of the most recent protests. That caused friction between Berlin and Beijing and motivated Hong Kong’s chief Carrie Lam to rally the German consul to whine.

Sam Goodman, a senior policy advisor with the Britain-based Hong Kong Watch, a non-governmental firm that tracks the situation from town, said the decision to grant Elaine asylum” shows Germany’s commitment to stand up for individual rights” but also worried that more might be carried out.

“In July, Germany and other EU member countries agreed to make suggestions to make it much easier for young Hong Kongers to perform and research in Europe within a global lifeboat policy,” Goodman said in a statement.

“We think now is the time for the German authorities to act on its guarantee and combine like-minded partners in making sure that each Hong Konger includes a workable insurance plan at the face of a further crackdown on their faith,” he explained.