A front group that the Chinese Communist Party set up to harass practitioners of a spiritual discipline in Hong Kong has attracted a battery of criticism recently.
Calling itself the “Hong Kong Youth Care Association,” the group has extensively documented ties with officials in the CCP responsible for “united front” work, a communist watchword that involves isolating and battling against designated political enemies.
In Hong Kong it harasses and attempts to intimidate practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that has been persecuted in the mainland since 1999. Practitioners regularly set up poster displays in an effort to alert Chinese tourists to the violence authorities in China exercise toward the practice.
Albert Ho, chairman of the Hong Kong Democratic Party, told Sound Of Hope (SOH) radio that the “Hong Kong Youth Care Association Limited has been targeting some Falun Gong activities with deliberate plans; some of their actions include harassment and threats. I think this is definitely not acceptable in a place like Hong Kong where people have the freedom of speech and of belief.”
An article in Next Magazine published on Aug. 8 presented a more detailed discussion of the Association’s activities, including one incident in July when an individual affiliated with the group pulled a large knife at a Falun Gong display site, in an apparent attempt to intimidate one of the Falun Gong volunteers. After the knife incident was brought to their attention on the day, the police did not pursue the matter.
The Association is headed by Lim Kwok-on (or Lin Guo-an as romanized from Mandarin) a member or former member of the of pro-communist political party Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) and currently Special Councilor in of the People’s Political Consultative Conference of Jinggangshan City in Jiangxi Province, according to Next Magazine.
Albert Ho described the drawing of the knife “an act of violent intimidation.” He said the police should explain why they didn’t follow it up.
Hong Kong Legislative Council Member Lee Wing-tat said the police should do more.
“I feel that the police should actively protect Falun Gong practitioners’ freedom of expression, otherwise the so-called freedoms of speech and cultural expression in Hong Kong are tarnished,” he said in an interview with Sound of Hope, a primarily Chinese-language radio station.
He said he is alarmed by the fact that the Chinese regime intimidates groups it considers inconvenient in Hong Kong.
The regime “has started using a number of organizations to pester various non-government organizations, including last week’s harassment of independent media, Falun Gong, and democratic and civil parties in Hong Kong. This deserves our special attention. We should call the police whenever something happens, and we shall stand united against unreasonable, illegal, and oppressive behavior.”Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, chair professor of political science at City University of Hong Kong, said he thought there had been an increase in “many activities that try to dye Hong Kong red.”
He added: “It is an alarming sign. We should be alert.”
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