Saturday, May 25, 2024

The exiles: Hong Kong at a crossroads

Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters with British national overseas (BNO) passports now face a stark choice.

Do they take the opportunity, now open to them, to flee to the United Kingdom and start a new life?

Or do they stay and continue to try to fight for greater autonomy from China?

The UK relaxed visa rules allowing those with colonial-era BNO status, and their close family, to pursue a path to UK citizenship.

The move was announced in July last year in response to a sweeping national security law passed by Beijing, which critics say has been used to silent dissent.

China says the law has restored stability to Hong Kong, and called the UK visa scheme a violation of sovereignty and gross interference in its internal affairs.

This is the story of two pro-democracy protesters having to make the decision to stay or to go. Names have been changed to protect their identity.

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