HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s chief stated Tuesday that eight pro-democracy activists who now stay in america, Britain, Canada and Australia shall be pursued for all times for alleged nationwide safety offenses, dismissing criticism that the transfer to have them arrested was a harmful precedent.

Chief Government John Lee expressed his help for the police’s efforts to arrest the eight. At his weekly media briefing, Lee stated anybody, together with their mates and kinfolk, who provided data resulting in their arrests could be eligible for the bounties provided by the police.

“The only way to end their destiny of being an abscondee who will be pursued for life is to surrender,” he stated.

The arrest warrants had been issued for former pro-democracy lawmakers Nathan Legislation, Ted Hui and Dennis Kwok, lawyer Kevin Yam, unionist Mung Siu-tat and activists Finn Lau, Anna Kwok and Elmer Yuen. They had been accused of breaching the Beijing-imposed Nationwide Safety Legislation by committing offenses akin to collusion and inciting secession.

Greater than 260 individuals have been arrested below the legislation enacted in 2020 as a part of a broad crackdown on dissent within the territory, however the rewards of 1 million Hong Kong {dollars} ($127,600) for data main to every arrest had been the primary below the legislation.

The transfer rapidly drew ire from the U.S. and British governments, which took problem with the extraterritorial software of the safety legislation. The U.S. stated such an software of the safety legislation was a harmful precedent that threatened human rights. Australian Overseas Minister Penny Wong additionally tweeted that her nation was “deeply concerned” by experiences of Hong Kong authorities issuing arrest warrants for democracy advocates.

However Lee insisted extraterritorial energy exists within the nationwide safety legal guidelines of many nations. He stated how abroad officers and politicians commented on the federal government’s strikes won’t change his administration’s sturdy perception in safeguarding nationwide safety.

“I’m not afraid of any political pressure that is put on us because we do what we believe is right,” he said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s office in Hong Kong also rejected the criticism from the U.S. and Britain, warning “foreign interference forces” to cease shielding “criminals” instantly.

The row reflects a fresh source of contention between Beijing and the West over the alleged overseas reach of China’s enforcement agencies following the issue of China’s alleged “secret overseas police stations.” These stations have been reported across North America, Europe and in other countries where Chinese communities include critics of the Communist Party who have family or business contacts in China. Beijing denied they are police stations, saying that they exist mainly to provide citizen services such as renewing driver’s licenses.

But Hong Kong’s further crackdown did not stop these overseas activists from speaking up.

Law, who is accused of foreign collusion and inciting secession, said on his Facebook the latest development signaled he was again being targeted by China’s ruling Communist Party and that he felt the “invisible pressure.” However, he refused to surrender.

“All I did was reasonable, justifiable and peaceful advocacy work,” the British-based activist said.

Mung also pledged in a statement that he would not cease advocacy work for Hong Kong labor rights abroad.

“If I were ever found guilty, my only ‘crime’ would be speaking the truth for my fellow Hong Kongers,” he said.

Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, has come under increasingly tight scrutiny by Beijing following months of mass pro-democracy protests in 2019.

Police on Monday acknowledged they will not be able to arrest the eight if they remain overseas.

Eunice Yung, a pro-Beijing lawmaker, who is the daughter-in-law of Yuen, supported the police’s move on her Facebook page, reiterating she had already cut ties with Yuen in last August.

“All his acts have nothing to do with me,” she stated.

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