After Beijing imposed the new security law in Hong Kong, several prominent human rights activists have fled the city in fears of retaliation from the Chinese government. However, Chinese police officers are looking to find and arrest six pro-democracy activists who have found refuge in Western countries, including the UK.
According to BBC, the group that police are looking for include Simon Cheng, a former UK consulate worker, Nathan Law, a well-known activist in Hong Kong, and Samuel Chu, a United States citizen.
Authorities stated that the individuals are wanted on suspicion of breaking the new security law in the city while China's state TV called the group troublemakers.
The series of incidents come after Beijing suspended legislative elections for September on Friday for at least a year.
The Chinese government said the decision was necessary due to the spike in coronavirus cases. The opposition, however, accused Beijing of using the COVID-19 pandemic as a means to punish critics. The White House has called the move of China as undermining the city's democracy.
Pro-democracy politicians attempted to use China's distracted stance amid the passing of the new security law to score a significant win in the Legislative Council (LegCo).
Most of the citizens of Hong Kong are worried that the new legislation Beijing passed in the city will undermine their political freedom and autonomy.
In recent weeks, several countries, including the UK and Australia, have suspended their extradition treaty with Hong Kong over fears of China's retaliation. On Friday, Germany had done the same, and there are reports that one of the individuals Chinese police are looking for have found asylum in the country.
The move marks the first time in history that the city's police force will use extraterritorial power detailed in the new security law to locate and arrest activists that have since fled Hong Kong, as reported by NST.
Chinese state TV, CCTV, said the six individuals that police are looking for are accused of inciting secession or conspiring with international forces against Beijing, both of which are punishable with life imprisonment as written in the new legislation.
Several lawyers and legal experts have claimed that China's new security law in Hong Kong would result in a drastic change to the city's legal system.
The legislation punishes several actions that Beijing deems illegal with up to life imprisonment and enables the mainland's police and security force to act and operate within the city of Hong Kong with impunity.
One of the most worrying details of the new security law writes that anyone who would conspire with international forces to incite hatred or disagreement with Beijing or Hong Kong authorities are subjected to suspicion of committing a criminal offence.
During a media briefing, Teresa Cheng, Hong Kong's Justice Secretary was asked about the exact definition of the provision but was unable to give a clear answer. The article is only one of the many clauses that cause concern among activists that Beijing is gaining control of the city.