Former Hong Kong Lawmaker Ted Hui Goes Into Exile

December 3, 2020 Updated: December 3, 2020

Ted Hui, a former pro-democratic Hong Kong legislator, announced on Dec. 3 from Denmark that he is going into exile, with plans to move with his family to the United Kingdom.

In a post to Facebook, Hui said that his decision to not return to Hong Kong was “hasty” following news of the recent arrests and sentencing of democratic activists and media tycoon Jimmy Lai by the pro-Beijing Hong Kong government.

“There is no word to describe my pain, and I can’t hold back tears,” he said of the news.

The 38-year-old was in Denmark for a climate change conference on Nov. 30. His family left Hong Kong to join him in Denmark on Dec. 2, Hong Kong media reported.

Hui has been a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council since 2016 and is regarded as a “reformer of the Democratic Party.” In November, he resigned alongside other pan-democracy camp lawmakers to protest the Hong Kong government’s decision to disqualify four pro-democracy legislators from the council.

Hui was serving as district councillor for the Democratic Party representing the Central and Western District of Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, Hui is currently facing nine criminal charges, some of them are related to last year’s “Anti-Extradition Law” protests and the tussles in the Legislative Council over the National Anthem Act.

Hong Kong
Pan-democratic legislator Hui Chi-fung is being taken away by security during Legislative Council’s House Committee meeting, in Hong Kong, China, on May 18, 2020. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

He was released on bail but had to report to his local police station on a regular basis.

Last week, a Hong Kong government prosecutor asked the court to order that Hui hand over his travel documents on the grounds that he was no longer a member of the Legislative Council. However, the chief judge of the District Court refused, granting continued bail under the original conditions. Hui also got permission from the court to leave Hong Kong in his official capacity.

Taiwanese media reported that after learning that Hui intended to go into exile, “two Danish parliament members offered to provide assistance.” They asked the Danish parliament to extend an official invitation to Hui.

Uffe Elbaek, a member of the Danish opposition parliament who has been following the unfolding crisis in Hong Kong, told local Danish media that Hui had visited Denmark to discuss the issue of Hong Kong demonstrations, and that climate change activities were just “a disguise.”

According to the BBC, when meeting with members of parliament in Denmark and Danish media, Hui urged European countries to follow the example of the United States to enact sanction for the human rights violations witnessed in Hong Kong, and provide Hong Kong demonstrators with a “safe haven from fear of the Chinese Communist Party.”

His words and deeds were deemed by Hong Kong establishment members and most remaining Hong Kong media as a violation of China’s National Security Law now enforced in Hong Kong.

In his Facebook post on Thursday, Hui told his fellow Hong Kongers that the city would remain his home.

“I will never emigrate, and I will never be able to take root in another place. My only home is Hong Kong.” He said “I will definitely go home and embrace everyone in tears when the bells of freedom ring in a free Hong Kong.”

He said he would continue the fight for Hong Kong’s freedom from the CCP from overseas. “Until my last breath I will fight to the end. Free Hong Kong, revolution now!”

Hui now joins prominent pro-democracy activist Nathan Law, as well activists Ray Wong, Alan Li, Sunny Cheung, Honcques Lausas, and Wayne Chan in exile.

In response to the recent sentencing of prominent pro-democracy voices in the city, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio issued a statement on Dec. 2, condemning the Chinese regime.

“If this is how Hong Kong treats prominent pro-democracy activists, then the international community must watch closely for how Hong Kong treats the thousands awaiting their day in court and those charged under the National Security Law. I stand in solidarity with all Hong Kongers who are watching as their long-cherished freedoms are robbed by a corrupt and cruel regime in Beijing.”