Expat Hong Kongers recitation video filling up inbox of Glacier Kwong
Berlin: Video messages featuring young Hong Kongers reciting what could be their last words before joining a protest are filling up the inbox of Glacier Kwong, a digital rights activist based in Germany.
Outside China's internet controls, this veteran of the pro-democracy movement works late into the night from her home in Hamburg, offering practical support for protesters on the other side of the world.
She helps find lawyers for those who have been arrested, offers advice on how they should protect themselves online and stores the encrypted sensitive documents they do not want China to see.
Lately, her correspondence has made for grim viewing.
In the last couple of weeks, as the demonstrations turned deadly, protesters have recorded messages for posterity in case something should happen to them.
"I don't feel comfortable keeping that information but I think at least the Hong Kong police or the Chinese government cannot get to me," Kwong told AFP.
In the videos, protesters give their name and the time and state they would never commit suicide, meaning that if they are found dead they must have been killed.
Kwong, who is completing a Masters at Hamburg University and is preparing to embark on a doctorate on data protection, is a seasoned campaigner at just 23.
She became politically active in Hong Kong as a teen in 2012 with a non-governmental organisation called Keyboard Frontline over proposed legislation that many feared would have restricted internet users' rights.
She went on to play a key role in the Umbrella Movement in 2014 during which a video in which she asked for international support garnered over a million views.
She moved to Hamburg in northern Germany in 2018.
Now, she is part of a large network of expatriate Hong Kongers who are supporting the protesters as well as seeking to raise awareness in their countries of residence and prompt foreign governments to take action. "The most difficult thing is the time difference. When things start to
happen it's usually my bedtime here," Kwong said, adding that she also felt "very
frustrated" at being so far
away from Hong Kong at this time.
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