Hong Kong: Chow Hang-tung, “human rights in the skin”



Tenacious, the accused Hang-tung defended herself to the end. Before the judges of the West Kowloon District Court of Justice, this brilliant Hong Kong lawyer confronted her accusers on their own ground: the law. But despite the strong legal arguments she made, the battle was lost.

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Magistrate Amy Chan was able to use the new national security law imposed by Beijing since July 2020 to sentence, Tuesday, January 4, the accused-lawyer to 15 months in prison for “Inducement” to rebellion. This sentence is in addition to a previous prison sentence that she is serving. Chow Hang-tung, 36, will spend another 22 months in prison.

“She is brilliant and reasons at the speed of lightning”

More discreet than famous leaders of the pro-democracy movement like Joshua Wong, Jimmy Lai, Agnes Chow or Denise Ho, this geophysicist graduated from Cambridge was of all the demonstrations, marches, as well as all the rallies, celebrations and protests from the beginning. of the pro-democracy movement in 2019.

“She never wanted to be in the spotlight, testifies the famous opponent Nathan Law, exiled for two years in London, but with all the leaders in prison she took the light, she became a model for many and she knows how to give hope. ““She is an intellectual on the ground”, says one of his fellow lawyers who had to go into exile in Australia last year for his engagement with young demonstrators. ” She is generous, he adds, she defended free of charge young accused mistreated by the police after demonstrations. “

From geophysics to human rights

After Cambridge, where she studied earth sciences, Chow Hang-tun quickly understood that the defense of human rights would become her real passion. She dropped out of her doctorate in geophysics, returned to Hong Kong, enrolled in the city’s law university and entered the Hong Kong bar in 2016.

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She very quickly joined the Hong Kong Alliance movement, founded in May 1989 at the time of demonstrations by Beijing students who called for more democracy. She becomes one of its leaders and every year organizes the candlelight vigil in memory of the massacre. “She is brilliant, masters the law perfectly, knows how the Chinese Communist Party works and reasons at lightning speed”, adds Eric Lai, former head of 2019 events logistics.

Evenings prohibited

For more than three decades, tens of thousands of people have gathered every June 4, but since China’s total takeover of Hong Kong, these vigils are prohibited.

Throughout his appearances, Hang-tung has spoken loud and clear about his feelings and deep convictions about this Chinese military crackdown. “She even dared to read testimonies written by the families of victims killed in Tian An Men”, testifies a lawyer on encrypted messaging in Hong Kong, who does not hide her admiration for her colleague. “I’ve known her for a long time, Hang-tung has human rights in her skin, it’s her very nature. “

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