The Coronavirus pandemic may have disrupted many work processes but it failed to stop an elderly woman who was detained by the Chinese authorities. Alexandra Wong, who suddenly disappeared midway through 2019 Hong Kong's democracy protests, resurfaced in the financial hub on Saturday, October 17 after 14 months.
As per the 64-year-old woman, she was taken to a detention center in mainland China and was forced to renounce her activism in writing. Alexandra Wong, who is also dubbed as "Grandma Wong" by the protesters, was forced to record a video stating that she was not tortured by the authorities.
Wong was often spotted waving a British flag during the protests and attended almost every rally during the early days of the Hong Kong protest movement for greater democracy as well as police accountability that started in 2019 June—almost a year before China imposed the controversial National Security Law.
'I Was Afraid I Would Die'
Grandma Wong held a press conference on Saturday in Hong Kong. She said after joining an August 2019 protest, she was detained by the Chinese police at the border with Shenzhen—where she lived for 14 years.
She said Shenzhen authorities detained her for 45 days for administrative and criminal detention, but she did not know what charges she was facing. During the press conference, she said, "I was afraid I would die in the detention center,"
After Wong's stay in custody got over, she was forced to declare in a video that she was not tortured by the Chinese mainland officials and promise not to take media interviews or join protests. Wong also revealed that the authorities asked her to write down that her activism had been wrong. "The worst thing I did in my life is to write that confession... but I had nothing to bargain with," said the elderly woman.
But that is not the end. After the confessions, Wong was sent on a so-called five-day "patriotic tour" of Shaanxi province, where a picture of her, holding the Chinese national flag was clicked and she had to sing the national song.
She has not received any written document of the charges but was told by the authorities that she will be released on bail pending trial for "picking quarrels and provoking trouble." However, after her release, she was only allowed to visit her home in Shenzhen, but Hong Kong was still a prohibited region for Wong. However, in September 2020, these restrictions lapsed. On Saturday, she again clarified where she stands and said, "I won't give up fighting. After all, there will be a sacrifice, otherwise... the authoritarian system wouldn't be changed."
Her testimony is a clear evidence of the CCP-controlled judicial system in mainland China that Hong Kong protesters are expecting to witness in their own city. Recently, the Chinese ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu, who branded Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters as violent criminals, warned the Trudeau government not to grant asylum to the protesters and if Canada does it anyway, that amounts to interference in China's internal affairs.