UK Student’s Death Threats Over Support For Hong Kong Protests

US and British Union Jack flags are seen reflected in a person's glasses as people take part in a pro-democracy march from Tsim Sha Tsui in the Kowloon district in Hong Kong on October 20, 2019. - Large crowds of Hong Kongers defied a police ban and began an illegal …
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Chinese citizens have called for the death of a student at the University of Edinburgh in Scottland after he was photographed at a protest supporting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.

Qin, a 20-year-old from Chengdu, a large city in Central China, was photographed with a sign demonstrating support democracy in Hong Kong and calling for an end to police brutality. The following day he was secretly photographed at an airport while accompanying his mother to her flight.

The pictures of Qin were posted to the Chinese social media site Weibo, China’s equivalent to Twitter. Believing that he was returning to China, Chinese ‘netizens’ began passing around his photo online and calling for his death. One post entitled “Brothers from Chengdu, beat him to death” has been shared over 10,000 times with over 3,000 replies, reports The Times.

“I am isolated. I have been at Edinburgh University for several years and I do not know more than five students from mainland China. I know many more students from Hong Kong, Europe and Scotland”, Qin told The Times.

“Most of the horror stories you have heard about China are true”, Qin said.

“People are arrested for dissenting views online, and I have had friends who were taken by police to the station for ‘a talk’. You could be arrested for ‘picking quarrels’ or ‘inciting social unrest’ and given a 15-day detention”, he added.

Alistair Carmichael, a critic of the communist government in Beijing, and former Liberal Democrat Scottish Secretary said: “These are utterly despicable posts. The way that China has reacted to protests in Hong Kong has been heavy-handed and authoritarian and for this behaviour to extend its tendrils into Scotland is beyond the pale.”

Intimidation of international university students by those loyal to the Chinese Communist Party is a widespread phenomenon. This summer the government of New Zealand rebuked China for trying to shut down protests in support of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. Pro-Beijing thugs violently attacked demonstrators at Auckland University and vandals repeatedly destroyed a ‘Lennon Wall’ honouring the fight for freedom in Hong Kong.

Follow Kurt on Twitter @KurtZindulka

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