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Thursday, Apr 25, 2024

Husband of ex-Hong Kong lawmaker on remand says he did not back UK release bid

Husband of ex-Hong Kong lawmaker on remand says he did not back UK release bid

Claudia Mo’s husband says he was not ‘notified … consulted’ before UK figures appealed to Hong Kong to release her on compassionate grounds.

The husband of former Hong Kong opposition lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching has said he did not endorse an appeal by more than 50 British politicians to the UK government to press authorities in the Asian financial hub for her release so she could visit him in hospital.

Philip Bowring, in a note released by the family on Sunday, said he left intensive care three weeks ago and had been discharged from hospital.

“I have not in any way been notified, contacted or consulted by UK-based parliamentarians or NGOs with regards to their recent statement, nor do I endorse it,” the veteran journalist, who is British, said.

Ex-lawmaker Claudia Mo, who is remanded in custody for sentencing after she admitted to subversion.

“My wife, Claudia Mo Man-ching, has never applied, nor at any point considered applying for bail, in light of the circumstances.”

Mo is among 47 opposition figures involved in a national security trial, with the group accused of trying to win a majority in the Legislative Council in 2020 in a bid to paralyse the government by blocking budgets and other legislation.

The former lawmaker, who has been remanded in custody for more than two years, earlier pleaded guilty along with another 30 defendants to a charge of conspiracy to subvert state power, but is still to be sentenced.

Bowring was said to have pneumonia and placed in intensive care, which prompted 54 British politicians and public figures to sign a letter that urged London to assist the 47 opposition camp members.

The letter was first made public by London-based rights group Hong Kong Watch and called on British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to provide more support to the 47 and “to secure their release”.

The Post has contacted Hong Kong Watch for comment. Several of the signatories to the letter are patrons of the group.

The letter also highlighted Mo’s case and her husband’s serious medical condition at the time, and said it was hoped the United Kingdom government could persuade Hong Kong authorities to release her on compassionate grounds.

The document’s signatories included former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten, ex-foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind and foreign affairs select committee chairwoman Alicia Kearns.

The 54 signatories also highlighted that Mo had once held British citizenship, but gave it up when she took her Legco seat in 2012.

The Correctional Services Department said anyone in custody could apply to its commissioner for release to see dying family members

The department said the commissioner would consider a variety of factors, including the length of sentence, the nature of the person’s offences, criminal background and risk of escape before it granted permission.


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