It has been a daunting 12-months for Hong Kong, but together we are soldiering on. Thank you for your unfailing trust and support!
Open this folded sheet, and you will see some amazing figures: out of a total of 2,521 persons* charged in connection with the anti-extradition protest movement, 2,221 have received assistance from the fund, mostly in legal fees. Given this number and the multi-court hearings in each case, the legal fees involved are inevitably large, even at the modest levels set by the Fund. But this also represents the huge financial anxiety your support had helped to relieve the persons charged to protect their legal rights, particularly when many of them are young and helpless! We have made efforts, and continue to make efforts, to improve our financial management to keep the Fund safe and serve our applicants’ needs better.
You will also see that just under half of the charged cases have been concluded, 90% of them (867 cases) are magistrate court cases. As for the remaining 1274 cases pending trial, 70% are in the District Court, for which the Fund only provides assistance for the contribution fee at the application stage, and most of those cases have completed that stage and new cases which may come within the Fund’s original scope are tapering off. On the other hand, there still remains 365 Magistrates Court cases pending trial or conclusion of trial. Some of them were expected to be long trials with multiple defendants, which means we have to prepare for heavy legal costs. At the same time, the needs of those under prolonged detention awaiting trial (some over 12 months) and those imprisoned have grown and will continue to grow. So it is only in a limited sense that we are seeing the end – distantly – of that tunnel. By the grace of God, together let us persevere until the Fund has done its job and is no longer necessary! This is not yet the time to relax!
With the typical anti-extradition protest cases becoming rarer, we are faced increasingly with borderline cases. We do our anxious best but are fully conscious that our assessment is not perfect, and we hereby apologize to those whom we disappointed.
Looking back, the Fund was an unprecedented civil society initiative that rose to meet the burning needs in a crisis. Since then, the situation in Hong Kong has changed drastically – one only has to take a look at our 2020 Report cover to realize how different! We are increasingly aware that new needs are growing in importance and becoming pressing which stretch beyond the scope of the Fund.
Nor is financial assistance the sole or even greatest need, when we have a city now shaken by doubt, uncertainty, fear, and a deep sense of isolation.
New ideas and initiatives will rise, riding on our deepening sense of community and empathy – perhaps a wider net of multi-level humanitarian mutual support?
We look to the future with humility and hope, confident in the spirit and ingenuity of the ordinary folk of this remarkable city, our home.
Trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund
(* As of 28th Feb 2021, Security Bureau)
下載完整報告 / Link to full report:https://612fund.hk/s/612-annual-report-2021.pdf
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