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?
- Police in Hong Kong have arrested almost everyone who was part of the political opposition.
- A growing number of Hong Kong protesters are fleeing abroad for their own safety.
- Mass arrests in Hong Kong are just the beginning of a crackdown on “subversion.”
- Hong Kong was already in the middle of a mental health crisis. COVID made it worse.
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.