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Hong Kong banks closed accounts of jailed 2019 protesters without providing a reason

Hong Kong Free Press HKFP sent this email to their subscribers on June 11, 2024.

HKFP Dim Sum (Grey)

Sunday marked five years since a proposed amendment to Hong Kong's extradition bill sparked mass protests across the city. Some of those jailed over their involvement in the demonstrations have been excluded from the city's financial system after their bank accounts were abruptly and inexplicably closed, while others have been ordered to pay up to HK$1.7 million to cover the sick leave of injured police officers, among other costs. The fate of many arrested over the protests - 7,318 to be exact - remains unclear, with just 2,961 of those apprehended having already faced prosecution.

Exclusive: HSBC closed accounts of jailed 2019 democracy protesters without providing a reason

The Hong Kong skyline, on February 15, 2024. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.
The Hong Kong skyline, on February 15, 2024. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

By Hillary Leung. Hong Kong banks - including HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, China CITIC Bank International and the Bank of China - terminated the accounts of some people jailed for offences linked to the 2019 protests without warning, and without explanation. One person whose accounts were closed told HKFP that being excluded from common financial services in the city "felt like a black-box operation," while prisoners' rights activists said that not having a bank account posed additional problems for former inmates' post-release reintegration into society.

Exclusive: 2 protesters told to pay up to HK$1.7 million each to cover police officers' injury-related costs from 2019 demo

Kenta Leung
Kenta Leung. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

By Hillary Leung. Two protesters, who pleaded guilty to rioting in 2020 and have already served their jail term, received letters in May demanding up to HK$1.7 million each to cover costs including paid time off, loss of working ability, and legal fees relating to two police officers who were injured.

5 years on from first 2019 Hong Kong protest arrests, fate of over 7,300 people apprehended over unrest remains unclear

Extradition mass protest
A march against the extradition bill in Hong Kong on June 9, 2019. Photo: Todd R. Darling/HKFP.

By Mercedes Hutton. From June 9, 2019, until March 31, 10,279 people were arrested in connection with the protests and unrest. Fewer than 3,000 have had their cases go through the courts, with police saying only that they will “handle the remaining cases in accordance with the law.”

Explainer: How big is Hong Kong's waste problem? And how much does the city recycle?

Waste. File photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.  7 & & 5353 - PR e i b . s W | 5
Glass recycling bins in Hong Kong piled high with rubbish. File photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

By Mercedes Hutton. HKFP looks at Environmental Protection Department data to see how well the city has done at reducing waste and increasing recycling rates since 2005, when the waste charging scheme was first discussed by lawmakers.

Retired banker Stephen Roach is no prophet of Hong Kong

“It is true that Hong Kong is facing some tough economic headwinds because of geopolitical uncertainty and structural problems. But its future is bright, because Hong Kong is working hard to restructure its economy,” writes Regina Ip in response to a recent talk by retired banker Steven Roach.

Hong Kong 47: The Basic Law was drafted with care, making a ‘constitutional’ crisis most unlikely

To consider a “constitutional crisis, chaos, or even anarchy… even a remote possibility is to underestimate the care with which the Basic Law was drafted,” writes Tim Hamlett.

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HKFP Dim Sum (Grey) Sunday marked five years since a proposed amendment to Hong Kong's extradition bill sparked mass protests across the city. Some of those jailed over their involvement in the demonstrations have been excluded from the city's financial system after their bank accounts were abruptly and inexplicably closed, while others have been ordered to pay up to HK$1.7 million to cover the sick leave of injured police officers, among other costs. The fate of many arrested over the protests - 7,318 to be exact - remains unclear, with just 2,961 of those apprehended having already faced prosecution. | FEATURES Exclusive: HSBC closed accounts of jailed 2019 democracy protesters without providing a reason The Hong Kong skyline, on February 15, 2024. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP. The Hong Kong skyline, on February 15, 2024. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP. By Hillary Leung. Hong Kong banks - including HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, China CITIC Bank International and the Bank of China - terminated the accounts of some people jailed for offences linked to the 2019 protests without warning, and without explanation. One person whose accounts were closed told HKFP that being excluded from common financial services in the city "felt like a black-box operation," while prisoners' rights activists said that not having a bank account posed additional problems for former inmates' post-release reintegration into society. Exclusive: 2 protesters told to pay up to HK$1.7 million each to cover police officers' injury-related costs from 2019 demo Kenta Leung Kenta Leung. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP. By Hillary Leung. Two protesters, who pleaded guilty to rioting in 2020 and have already served their jail term, received letters in May demanding up to HK$1.7 million each to cover costs including paid time off, loss of working ability, and legal fees relating to two police officers who were injured. 5 years on from first 2019 Hong Kong protest arrests, fate of over 7,300 people apprehended over unrest remains unclear Extradition mass protest A march against the extradition bill in Hong Kong on June 9, 2019. Photo: Todd R. Darling/HKFP. By Mercedes Hutton. From June 9, 2019, until March 31, 10,279 people were arrested in connection with the protests and unrest. Fewer than 3,000 have had their cases go through the courts, with police saying only that they will “handle the remaining cases in accordance with the law.” Explainer: How big is Hong Kong's waste problem? And how much does the city recycle? Waste. File photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP. 7 & & 5353 - PR e i b . s W | 5 Glass recycling bins in Hong Kong piled high with rubbish. File photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP. By Mercedes Hutton. HKFP looks at Environmental Protection Department data to see how well the city has done at reducing waste and increasing recycling rates since 2005, when the waste charging scheme was first discussed by lawmakers. | OPINION Retired banker Stephen Roach is no prophet of Hong Kong “It is true that Hong Kong is facing some tough economic headwinds because of geopolitical uncertainty and structural problems. But its future is bright, because Hong Kong is working hard to restructure its economy,” writes Regina Ip in response to a recent talk by retired banker Steven Roach. Hong Kong 47: The Basic Law was drafted with care, making a ‘constitutional’ crisis most unlikely To consider a “constitutional crisis, chaos, or even anarchy… even a remote possibility is to underestimate the care with which the Basic Law was drafted,” writes Tim Hamlett. 💡 HKFP is a Trust Project member. Ethics, Policies & Best Practices | Diverse Voices Commitment | Annual Report & Transparency Report . International The Trust Project @ Press Institute Heienes (JNewsGuard OUR NEWSROOM RELIES ON HKFP PATRONS Almost 1,000 monthly donors make HKFP possible. Each contributes an average of HK$200/month to support our award-winning original reporting, keeping the city's only independent English-language outlet free-to-access for all. Three reasons to join us: 1. 🔎 Transparent & efficient: As a non-profit, we are externally audited each year, publishing our income/outgoings annually, as the city's most transparent news outlet. 2. 🔒 Accurate & accountable: Our reporting is governed by a comprehensive Ethics Code. We are 100% independent, and not answerable to any tycoon, mainland owners or shareholders. Check out our latest Annual Report, and help support press freedom. 3. 💰 It's fast, secure & easy: We accept most payment methods - cancel anytime, and receive a free tote bag and pen if you contribute HK$150/month or more. Over a dozen ways to support us We invite readers to contact us to report any errors, typos or to submit complaints, suggestions or ideas Support HKFP  |  Policies & Ethics  |  Error/typo?  |  Contact Us  | Apps This email was sent to why did I get this?         Hong Kong Free Press · HKFP, The Hive Kennedy Town, 6/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, · 12P Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town, · Hong Kong Island. · Hong Kong
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