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Photo Credit: Samuel Chu / CC BY-SA (
Photo Credit: Samuel Chu / CC BY-SA (
Photo Credit: Samuel Chu / CC BY-SA (
Photo Credit: Samuel Chu / CC BY-SA (
World News

Pastor's son charged under Hong Kong's new national security law

by Tola Mbakwe

A pro-democracy activist and pastor's son has been charged with "inciting secession" and "colluding with foreign powers" under Hong Kong's new national security law.

Despite Samuel Chu being a naturalized American citizen, Hong Kong police have issued a warrant for his arrest, as well as six other activists. 

Chu is the managing director of the Hong Kong Democracy Council, which based in Washington DC. He now lives in Los Angeles, California. 

He wrote an opinion pieces in The New York Times entitled "Why Is China Coming After Americans Like Me in the U.S.?" Chu warned about the danger of Hong Kong's new law.

"It doesn't matter that I've been an American citizen for 25 years - having left Hong Kong in 1990 to live in the United States," he wrote. "I had violated Article 38 of the new law, which states: 'This Law shall apply to offenses under this Law committed against the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from outside the Region by a person who is not a permanent resident of the Region.'

"My surprising new status as an international fugitive illustrates the imminent threat to free expression that pro-democracy activists have consistently warned about over the past year.

"As this assault on basic freedoms in Hong Kong unfolded, many activists for democracy in that community like myself, and an uncountable many other Americans, have watched from afar - and have shown solidarity through our smartphones and Twitter. But now, as my experience shows, you don't have to be in Hong Kong to get yourself in trouble. Your next retweet could earn you a prison sentence."

Chu previously pastored at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Koreatown in Los Angeles from 2002 to 2009, where he served a community of recent immigrants. He's currently a fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California where he engages in research, writing and teaching around community organizing, public leadership, and the role of religious institutions in social change. 

Chu is also the son of Rev Chu Yiu-ming, who's the minister of Chai Wan Baptist Church in Hong Kong. He is also one of the founders of the Occupy Central campaign which planned a series of sit-in-street demonstrations to protest reforms to Hong Kong's electoral system in 2014. 

Last year, a Hong Kong court convicted Rev Chu due of his role in the campaign, but was given a suspended sentence. 

He said during the sentencing hearing: "Every single person living in a community possesses unique potentials and powers, capable of making a contribution to society. Human right is a God-given gift, never to be arbitrarily taken away by any political regime."

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