‘We want our son back’: families of detained Hong Kong activists left in the dark

‘We want our son back’: families of detained Hong Kong activists left in the dark

The family of a Hong Kong activist detained in China after allegedly attempting to flee to Taiwan by speedboat say they have had no communication from him and are relying on a piece of paper from Chinese authorities as confirmation of his whereabouts.

Andy Li was among 12 people caught by Chinese coastguards on 23 August. He had been arrested earlier that month under Hong Kong’s newly introduced national security law, after which the authorities had confiscated his passport before releasing him on bail.

Andy’s younger sister, who did not want to publish her first name, told the Guardian they had no idea he had planned to leave Hong Kong – a venture reportedly months in the planning for at least some of the passengers – and learned only of his arrest from the media. They have been told little since.

“The only time we could be really sure [it was him] was when we received a notice from the police that he was being detained in the Yantian detention centre,” said Li. “There are no photos, we have received no proof. The only confirmation we had was a piece of paper with his name.”

“It’s a black hole, we don’t know anything about it … It feels like they’re trying really hard to not let anyone to the place.”