Inside Hong Kong’s Crackdown On Pro-Democracy Activists

Fergus Leung is a 23-year-old politician in Hong Kong who was rounded up by police.
Tiffany Yuen (center L) and Fergus Leung (center R) meet the press in Hong Kong before filing their candidacy on July 20, 2020, for the legislature election in September.

UPDATE: On February 28, 2021, the young politician we profiled in this episode, Fergus Leung, along with 46 other pro-Democracy activists and lawmakers, was charged with “conspiracy to commit subversion,” a violation of Hong Kong’s new National Security Law. As of March 3, 2021, he is still incarcerated awaiting trial. If convicted, Leung faces several years in  prison. 


In a pre-dawn raid on January 6, hundreds of Hong Kong police fanned out across the city in a coordinated operation to arrest dozens of pro-democracy activists and lawmakers. It was the biggest crackdown on the city’s democracy movement, and the latest effort by the Chinese government to curb dissent. 

We go to Hong Kong to spend time with one of the people who the police rounded up—a 23-year-old local politician—and hear from VICE News Tonight reporter Laurel Chor about what led up to that day. Is this the end of Hong Kong’s nascent democracy? 



Reporting from Viola Zhou in Hong Kong. Produced by Jesse Alejandro Cottrell.  

VICE News Reports is produced by Jesse Alejandro Cottrell, Jen Kinney, Janice Llamoca and Julia Nutter. Our senior producers are Ashley Cleek and Adizah Eghan. Our associate producers are Sam Eagan, Sophie Kazis, and Adreanna Rodriguez. Sound design and music composition by Steve Bone and Kyle Murdock. 

Our executive producer and VP of VICE Audio is Kate Osborn. Janet Lee is senior production manager for VICE Audio. Production coordination by Steph Brown. Fact checking by Nicole Pasulka.