Hong Kong’s largest independent trade union was disbanded on Sunday (3/10), further fueling fears of narrowing space for civil society groups, while the national security law and the vast powers it grants to the police dampen dissent (silencing dissidents). ) in that global financial center.
Founded in 1990, the 145,000-member Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) voted to disband, ending the organization as authorities imposed greater control on groups and unions at the business hub.
While anti-government protests in 2019 generated a new wave of labor activism in Hong Kong and prompted a 35% surge in the number of new unions, the groups have struggled and dissolved since Beijing enacted a security law last year.
Fears of breaking the law and facing life in prison have seen at least 29 unions dissolved since the start of the year, according to a Reuters news agency tally.
HKCTU vice president Leo Tang said members of the group had received threats to their personal safety, without elaborating.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam denied that the government was carrying out a crackdown on civil society, and authorities said all law enforcement actions were based on evidence and had nothing to do with the political beliefs of those arrested. [lt/ka]