Hong Kong’s Gay Rights Advocates Fear Civil Crackdown May Undo Progress.


Hong Kong’s crackdown on social activism is threatening to undo progress for gay rights, once considered validation of the city’s reputation as Asia’s liberal, financial haven. Well-known LGBTQ figures, including former lawmakers and singers, have been arrested or jailed for their political activism. The national security law imposed following the violent protests of 2019 has also exacerbated the pandemic’s restrictive impact, forcing the suspension of the annual Pride marches and prompting human rights lawyers to leave the city. “We are worried that there will be a decrease in the space where LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) activists can challenge discriminatory laws through legal avenues,” said Kai Ong, a researcher with Amnesty International. Amnesty shut its operations in the city last October, saying the national security law made it impossible to operate without fear of reprisals.

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