Hong Kong cancels passports of six pro-democracy activists who fled to UK

The Hong Kong government said Wednesday it has cancelled the passports of six democracy activists who fled to the United Kingdom, calling them "lawless wanted criminals".

Hong Kong last year issued HK$1 million ($128,000) bounties for 13 activists based abroad who authorities accused of committing national security crimes.

The six named Wednesday -- all on the bounty list -- are considered "lawless wanted criminals... hiding in the United Kingdom", a government spokesperson said in a statement.

"They continue to blatantly engage in activities that endanger national security... We therefore have taken such measure to give them a strong blow," the spokesperson added, listing "cancellation of HKSAR passports" as one of the measures.

The six are former pro-democracy lawmaker Nathan Law, veteran unionist Mung Siu-tat, and activists Simon Cheng, Finn Lau, Fok Ka-chi and Choi Ming-da.

Hong Kong officials cited a national security law passed in March as the legal basis for cancelling their passports.

Police added that anyone offering funds, leasing property or running a business with those named could face up to seven years in jail.

The move came on the fifth anniversary of a violent clash between protesters and police that marked a major escalation in the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests of 2019.

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