There are signs that Canada has begun opening doors for pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong as refugees. Canada has already granted refuge to a couple, both in their early 30s on these grounds. Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have been going on on large scale since 2019. The protests started when Hong Kong’s leadership tried to enact legislation that paved way for extradition to China.
On September 1, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada told the Hong Kong couple that they had been given asylum as they were determined to be “Convention refugees”.
As per Canadian law, a convention refugee is someone who can’t return to their home country due to a “well founded fear of persecution” on grounds of “race, religion, political opinion”.
Media reports said that the couple was involved in the protests. The man has been associated with a prominent political party in Hong Kong and both of them were part of street protests opposing Hong Kong authorities’ efforts to push the legislation.
After the asylum was granted, the man was quoted as saying that he felt safe and no more had to hide.
Hong Kong is a former British Colony. Though it is now controlled by China, the semi-autonomous nature of the city affords it to have regulations that are more liberal than those in the mainland.