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Hong Kong LGBTI activist detained for three days in mainland China

Hong Kong LGBTI activist detained for three days in mainland China

Hong Kong-based LGBTI activist Cheung Kam Hung (Photo: Facebook)

Chinese police detained Hong Kong LGBTI activist Cheung Kam Hung for three days last week.

The founder of Rainbow China, a Hong Kong-based charity promoting LGBTI rights in China, said he was traveling in the southern city of Shenzhen when he was detained.

‘I was “administratively detained” by authorities for three days and then received a “forced repatriation” to Hong Kong’ he told Gay Star News.

‘What is the specific reason? Like many friends and family who care about me, I want to know!’ He wrote on Facebook.

China’s Hong Kong

The UK handed its former colony back to China in 1997. But, China agreed to govern Hong Kong under a ‘one country two systems’ for 50 years.

Under this system, Hong Kong is not subject to China law and retains a higher level of freedom of the press and free speech.

But, Beijing is increasingly influencing the region and activists are hitting back demanding greater democracy.

Local media linked Cheung’s arrest to his previous involvement with pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong.

Cheung told Gay Star News Chinese authorities hinted that he should not participate in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.

‘But I have not worked on these issues for years’, he said. ‘I am now focused on LGBTI rights and HIV Aids in China’.

Rainbow China, according to its Facebook page, aims to ‘give support to the fight for equality of LGBT rights in China’.

The organization also supports HIV and Aids services and other minorities’ rights in China.

LGBTI rights in China

Cheung told Gay Star News that recently freedom in China had become ’narrower’.

President Xi Jinping’s overseas NGO law has hampered fundraising, awareness, and other activities on the mainland of China.

‘I love China and want to do something meaningful to help them’.

China this month shut down two LGBTI organizations in Guangzhou, not far from Hong Kong.

The Municipal Affairs Bureau labeled the Guangzhou University Rainbow Group and the Guangzhou Gender and Sexuality Education Center as ‘illegal social organizations’.

Many LGBTI activities have been stopped recently, an LGBTI advocate based in Guangzhou told Gay Star News.

What’s more, he said it was ‘very difficult’ for LGBTI groups to register.

China legalized gay sex in 1997 and removed it from the list of mental illnesses in 2001.

But, in a conservative and family-orientated society, many LGBTI Chinese live in the closet. Same-sex marriage is also illegal.

China’s Netcasting Service Association (CNSA) officially banning LGBT content from China’s internet in June 2017. CNSA labeled homosexuality ‘abnormal sexual behavior’.

Hong Kong, meanwhile, is facing increasing pressure to legalize same-sex unions.

Two separate couples are challenging the government on equal marriage through the high court.

Last year, the region’s LGBTI community celebrated after the government recognized overseas same-sex marriages when granting spousal visas.

See Also:

Hong Kong govt rejects calls to include sexual orientation in next census

First legal challenges mounted against Hong Kong same-sex marriage ban

Hong Kong’s only gay lawmaker victim of online smear campaign