PRESS RELEASE Andy is Missing
Family of activist Andy Li seeks his safe return through social media initiative
[17 Sept, 2020] The family of Hong Kong activist Andy Li has established a social media initiative to garner international support to safeguard his basic human rights during his detention in China.
The family asks the international community to call on the Chinese authorities to:
- Guarantee Andy’s safety and well-being;
- Provide evidence to confirm Andy’s physical location; and
- Allow Andy access to the lawyer appointed by his family.
The family further issues the following statement on Andy Li:
“Andy is a young Hongkonger who loves anime and a talented programmer. He, along with millions of HongKongers, has joined the city’s pro-democracy movement since June 2019. Like many in his generation, Andy passionately believes in freedom, justice, democracy and human rights.
On 10 August 2020, Andy was arrested in Hong Kong under the National Security Law. On 23 August, it is believed that Andy joined 11 other young Hongkongers to flee to Taiwan for asylum by means of an unseaworthy speedboat. Their desperate attempt came to an end when the boat was intercepted by China’s coastguard. On 27 August, we found out about his dire situation from the news when Chinese authorities claimed they had detained all 12 youngsters including Andy.
Since then, we have had no news of Andy. No evidence of his whereabouts. No indication of his well-being and if his basic rights are being respected.
Andy has not always been a “keyboard freedom fighter”. He is a young man with a big heart, many interests and an exceptional talent. He is a self-taught programmer and has established a successful IT business. Andy could have chosen to stay out of Hong Kong’s social movement. If he had been any less selfless or idealistic, he would still be living a peaceful and ordinary life.
But Andy’s conscience has led him into an extraordinary path. As a digital nomad, Andy has always appreciated the power that comes with the free flow of information on the internet and he collaborated with programmers all over the globe. When he was called upon by the city he calls home, Andy didn’t hesitate to give his all to defend the freedom and human rights of HongKongers. It is heartbreaking to see Andy in the current situation but it is not hard to understand where he came from.
It takes great courage to step outside of our comfort zone. In doing so, Andy has put his life on the line to fight for democracy in Hong Kong. It was a shock for the family to see Andy arrested for allegedly breaching the National Security Law. It was devastating to imagine the despair he must have felt in seeking to flee. It is pure anguish to not know what Andy is going through right now.
Andy has taught himself a lot of things. He is fascinated by and has extensively researched Hong Kong’s legal system. He once said he was proud of what we had in place. The very fact that he decided not to face trial in Hong Kong reflects the total breakdown of confidence in the legal system - and he was not alone. People who decided to risk their safety to flee believe there is little chance of a fair trial under an independent judiciary. For them, picking the most perilous route is the only hope to live a life in freedom.
Noting Andy’s interest in international advocacy for the social movement, we call on the international community to stand with Andy and to safeguard his basic human rights during his detention in China.”