Hong Kong protester granted asylum in Germany was sexually assaulted in refugee camp

The 22-year-old said she has reported the incident to German authorities. Photo via Pexels/Eberhard Grossgasteiger
The 22-year-old said she has reported the incident to German authorities. Photo via Pexels/Eberhard Grossgasteiger

A protester who was granted asylum in Germany said she was sexually assaulted by staff at the refugee camp.

The 22-year-old, who identified to local media as Elaine, fled Hong Kong last November after she was arrested for her participation in the pro-democracy protests.

According to Haven Assistance, a group that facilitates asylum applications for Hong Kong protesters, Elaine has reported the incident to German authorities. The worker currently faces charges and is due to appear in court for prosecution.

In an interview with Stand News published Wednesday, Elaine said the incident involved verbal interactions and “unnecessary physical contact,” and that the worker is not German.

In Hong Kong, Elaine—a student at Chinese University—was facing charges for rioting, weapons possession and violating the anti-mask law during a protest in November.

“Taking part in the protests, I was prepared to bear charges,” Elaine told Stand News. But she never imagined she would leave Hong Kong and only made the decision to flee after reviewing the sentences dealt to protesters prosecuted for their participation in the 2016 Mong Kok unrest.

Not wanting to face the same reality, Elaine boarded a plane to Taiwan within five days of her arrest. She then took a flight bound for Germany, keeping her friends and family in the dark before she took off.

Elaine is the first protester to be granted asylum in Germany for her role in last summer’s demonstrations, and the third Hongkonger over the years whose applications were related to the city’s political movement.

In 2018, the founder of pro-independence party Hong Kong Indigenous, Ray Wong, and his colleague Alan Li, were resettled there. Both Wong and Li were facing charges related to the 2016 Mong Kok unrest.

Elaine said she lived at three refugee camps in Germany, where she had limited access to wifi. Coming from sub-tropical Hong Kong, she was not used to the subzero temperatures come winter.

Haven Assistance said she was also hospitalized during her time there due to emotional issues.

“I had mixed feelings when I learnt I had been granted asylum. I thought about [my] comrades in Hong Kong who have been detained, trialed in court and jailed. Have I left them all behind?” She said.

Elaine told Stand News she is currently living in accommodation arranged by the German authorities, and that she has busied her days with handling paperwork, purchasing medical insurance and signing up for language classes.

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