Lawyers Exit Hong Kong As They Face Campaign Of Intimidation

Anonymous threats sent by text message and email. GPS tracking devices placed under a car, and Chinese “funeral money” sent to an office. Ambushes by reporters working for state-controlled media. Accusations of disloyalty in the press.

These are some of the methods deployed in a campaign of intimidation being waged against lawyers in Hong Kong who take on human rights cases, have criticized a China-imposed national security law or raised alarms about threats to the rule of law.

While some of Hong Kong’s leading rights lawyers have been detained in the past two-and-a-half years, many others have become the target of a more insidious effort to cleanse the city of dissent – part of a wider crackdown by the ruling Communist Party on lawyers across China, say activists, legal scholars and diplomats.