Pro-democracy group HK Alliance lays off all staff

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China said on Saturday that it was laying off its staff members to “ensure their safety”, and that half of its committee members were resigning.

The alliance, which organised past annual June 4 vigils, described the move as a “strategic manpower adjustment”, amid a “rapidly deteriorating political environment”.

The pro-democracy group said its committee members decided to take, what it described as, preventative measures in view of the greater political suppression they faced.

Seven of the alliance’s committee members are resigning. They include its secretary Richard Tsoi, social worker Lun Chi-wai, and district councillor Chiu Yan-loy.

The remaining seven, who are staying on, include the alliance’s chairman Lee Cheuk-yan, vice-chairman Albert Ho, and vice-chairwoman Chow Hang-tung. All three are either in jail or detention.

The alliance said the move would affect its operation but that it would continue its work despite the difficulties and challenges. It said staff would be offered compensation.

Richard Tsoi told RTHK that the group could continue operating with the help of volunteers and allies. He said staff members might be hired again but that would depend on the situation.