Three core members of the US-based pro-democracy lobby group Hong Kong Democracy Council have announced their departure from the organization.
In statements posted on social media Tuesday, activists Samuel Chu and Victoria Hui announced that they and board member Annie Boyajian will be stepping down from the leadership of HKDC with immediate effect. Their profiles were not on the group’s website at the time of writing.
Washington DC-based HKDC was established as a not-for-profit charitable organization in September 2019 in response to actions by the Hong Kong government during the 2019 protests and riots. The group is committed to promoting democracy in the city and campaigned for the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and the Hong Kong Autonomy Act to be passed, which impose penalties against Hong Kong and China officials.
The resignations came days after prosecutors announced during a national security trial that the defendant, activist Andy Li, had given Chu a list of 144 names as recommended targets for US sanctions. Prosecutors argued that this information was evidence of an alleged conspiracy with foreign forces.
‘Be water. Further.’
Hui, a former HKDC board member, said she would step down to avoid any conflict of interest in her new role as a fellow of the US Council on Foreign Relations think tank and the US Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC).
She said her efforts this summer to recruit new personalities to lead HKDC have been “unruly” and “the animosity in our board exchanges over the past few days has become unbearable.”
As a result, Boyajian and Chu, the managing directors of HKDC, decided to resign at the same time without giving the reasons for their resignation.
Chu said in a tweet, “We remain deeply inspired and committed to the Hong Kong Movement and will continue to support all US efforts in support of Hong Kong as needed. Be water. Further.”
Hui said HKDC board president Anna Yeung-Cheung would stay in office until next fall.
In a statement, Yeung-Cheung said the organization will see a “formal reorganization” of its leadership. “Personally, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Samuel’s ministry,” added that Chu played an “instrumental” role in establishing HKDC.