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Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021

The Civil Human Rights Front denies foreign funding

The Civil Human Rights Front denies foreign funding

The Civil Human Rights Front has denied receiving funding from overseas organizations after a report said the government may outlaw the group on national security grounds.
There have been claims that the front – which is best known for organizing the annual July First rally and other protests – had received funding from the US National Endowment for Democracy to organize anti-extradition demonstrations, which began in June 2019, RTHK reports.

A report by Singaporean newspaper Lianhe Zaobao quoted sources as saying that the Hong Kong government could ban the group shortly if the allegations of foreign funding were proven true.

Sources quoted by the newspaper also alleged that the front has never registered with the government and might have breached the Societies Ordinance. The report said the front’s convenors could be jailed for up to three months if found guilty.

In a statement, the front's convenor, Figo Chan Ho-wun, said its funding came solely from donations from the public during marches and assemblies.

He stressed the group has never received funding from foreign governments or organizations, including the National Endowment for Democracy.

“Regarding the news that the Civil Human Rights Front may be disbanded by the government, our take is that once this regime targets a person or organization to condemn, it always manages to find an excuse to do so,” Chan said.

The group urged people to “recognize and acknowledge the facts” and to do their best during what it calls a “difficult time of incessant political suppression”.
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