Right to civil liberties
General Secretary of International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) and former Chief Executive of the now-disbanded Hong Kong Confederation of a Trade Unions (HKCTU), Elizabeth Tang Yin-ngor, was taken away by National Security Police officers on 9 March 2023, after visiting her husband, imprisoned union leader, Lee Cheuk-yan.
Tang was arrested on “suspicion that she had colluded with foreign forces to endanger national security”. Tang had recently returned to Hong Kong after leaving for the United Kingdom in 2021.
Her husband, former HKCTU general secretary Lee Cheuk-yan, is currently detained under the National Security Law. He and two other ex-leaders, Chow Hang-tung and Albert Ho, stand accused of incitement to subversion. The case was transferred to the High Court in September 2022, where the highest penalty for incitement to subversion is 10 years’ imprisonment. Lee was denied bail in December, when a judge ruled there were insufficient grounds for believing that he would not continue to “commit acts endangering national security” if bail was granted.
Tang was released the next day and her computer, mobile phone and passport remain confiscated.
In the week following Tang’s arrest, 13 trade union and labour organisation activists, including from the defunct HKCTU, were taken away by national security police for questioning. The police conducted home searches and took away the computers and mobile phones of the activists.