‘Everyone Who Stands up Fears Retribution’

On November 15, 2019, the “Inquiring into Police’s Violence, Slamming Police’s Lies” rally and march was launched by senior citizens of Hong Kong.(Studio IncendoCC BY 2.0

Han Hua, who has lived in Hong Kong for more than 10 years, has been actively reporting on the city’s anti-government and pro-democracy protests since they escalated in early June, in a bid to inform social media friends behind the Great Firewall of what is going on. But she says the protests are beginning to wear her down, and asked to be identified only by a pseudonym as she fears reprisals and arrest by the authorities:

In the past few days, the police have been cracking down on universities and attacking campuses. On the day that they attacked the Chinese University of Hong Kong, they fired tear gas for an entire day. It really feels as if we’re in a major crisis now. People in Hong Kong really feel powerless.

A lot of my friends are really worried about me right now, because they’re afraid something bad will happen to me. I’m no longer on WeChat but I have more than 3,000 followers on Tudou. I keep posting news and information from Hong Kong, so as to influence our friends in mainland China, so that they know the truth about what’s happening in Hong Kong.

Some people online have been telling me that the [mainland Chinese] police have me marked down as a rebel in league with foreign forces.

A friend in the [northern Chinese province of] Hebei told me that my name was mentioned in a document issued by the state security police. He said that the state security police have their eye on me, as being in league with foreign forces, and as someone who regularly puts out large amounts of information that is unflattering to China.

I was also told by someone in [the eastern province of] Zhejiang that the state security police told them that I was part of a rebellion.

I haven’t been able to sleep since yesterday. I went on [Hong Kong chief executive] Carrie Lam’s Facebook page and left a comment for her. I said that I hoped that she, as a mother, could show a bit of kindness and compassion for the children and young people of Hong Kong.

I am in total despair right now. So many young people have died in Hong Kong, and yet there is no justice, no way get through to [the government] with reason, no way to achieve justice.

Everyone who stands up fears retribution by the authorities. We wear masks because we fear the use of facial recognition, and that they’ll come for us later.

I think everyone would find a way to leave if they could, because this city has now fallen into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, and we could all be arrested at any time.

Reported by Qiao Long for RFA’s Mandarin Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

Source: Copyright © 1998-2016, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036. https://www.rfa.org.