© AFP | Newly elected Hong Kong lawmaker Eddie Chu says he is unable to go home because he is being stalked and the safety of his family threatened
HONG KONG (AFP) – A Hong Kong lawmaker advocating more autonomy from China who won a seat in landmark elections last weekend said Thursday he had received “death threats” before and since the polls as he reported them to police.Eddie Chu was one of at least five candidates in the semi-autonomous city pushing for more distance or even an outright break from Beijing who took seats for the first time in the Legislative Council assembly Sunday amid fears of China tightening its grip.
Chu, 38, is also an environmentalist who has campaigned against the destruction of heritage properties to make way for newer developments.
He said he was unable to go home because he was being stalked and the safety of his family threatened.
“I received death threats…because of my political views,” Chu told reporters.
“The threat to my personal safety is imminent…it has drastically worsened in the past two to three days,” he said before going into the city’s Wan Chai police station with his lawyer.
He did not give any detail on who had made the threats and how they reached him.
Michael Vidler, a lawyer assisting Chu, urged police to take the case seriously.
“Politically motivated threats or violence against elected representatives of the people is a direct attack on the rule of law and democracy,” Vidler told reporters.
“The Hong Kong police are duty bound to uphold the rule of law and everybody’s constitutional rights, including Mr. Chu’s,” he said.
Sunday’s election saw a record turnout with more than two million residents casting their votes in the city of seven million.
It was the first major poll since the 2014 “Umbrella Movement” protests, with the anti-establishment camp increasing its share of the legislature, which is still weighted towards Beijing.
Chu, standing as an independent, emerged as winner in his constituency with more than 80,000 votes — the most of any candidate in the polls.
His allegations mark the latest controversy to hit the election.
Several pro-independence activists were banned from standing and two say they will now appeal their disqualification, according to media reports.
Pro-establishment candidate Ken Chow, of the Liberal Party, has also complained of interference, saying he was told to quit the race to make way for other pro-Beijing candidates.
Afraid to go home since election day, ‘king of votes’ Eddie Chu seeks police aid over death threats
Newly elected lawmaker says threats against him dramatically increased since he bagged 84,121 votes in New Territories West
By Joyce Ng
South China Morning Post
Eddie Chu Hoi-dick is seeking police assistance over “imminent” death threats he has received against himself and his family since he was elected as a lawmaker.
Accompanied by a lawyer, New Territories West’s “king of votes” arrived at police headquarters in Wan Chai at about 1pm to make a report.
He has also sent a letter to Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying and Police Commander Stephen Lo Wai-chung requesting assistance.
(From left) Paul Zimmerman, Lau Siu-lai, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung and Nathan Law Kwun-chung at the police headquarters in Wan Chai. Photo: Sam Tsang
“There have been threats against me and my family since I ran for Legco,” Chu, 38, said. “The threats have dramatically escalated since I was elected.”
“The death threat to me is imminent,” he added.
Chu also said he had sought advice from a close protection specialist. He and his wife and daughter have not gone home since election day due to fear for their personal safety.
“Now a lawmaker elected by 84,121 people is unable to go home and is threatened because of his political views,” he continued. “This is a direct attack on the rule of law. There will be outrage among my voters.”
But Chu refrained from revealing details of the threats, saying disclosure at this stage would prejudice police investigation.
Two other newly elected localists, Lau Siu-lai and Nathan Law Kwun-chung, as well as re-elected lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung and Occupy Central student leader Joshua Wong Chi-Fung were at the scene to show their support.
They and a dozen supporters chanted: “Down with political violence! Je suis Chu Hoi-dick!”
The independent candidate bagged 84,121 votes in New Territories West, the highest number obtained by any candidate in all five geographical constituencies.
Watch: Exclusive chat with Eddie Chu Hoi-dick after his surprise election win
Over the years, Chu has fought a lone battle against rural forces, being a vocal critic of land abuse and exploitation of the small-house policy by rural landlords and developers.
On Monday, Chu revealed that he was tailed by a white car which waited outside his home on election day.
He then also said he had in May received a phone call from a village head, who asked him to stop digging into the issue over a brownfield site at Wang Chau, Yuen Long, where the government had abandoned a public housing project due to opposition from the rural gentry.
Tags: anti-China, “imminent” death threats, constitutional rights, death threats, democracy, Eddie Chu, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, free expression, free speech, Hong Kong, Hong Kong police, independence, Ken Chow, Legislative Council, Michael Vidler, pro-Beijing candidates, pro-establishment, right of self determination, rule of law