Frances Hui is the first Hong Kong activist to be granted political asylum in the United States following the adoption of the National Security Law in 2020.
Hui became an activist at the early age of 14 as a standing committee member of Scholarism, a Hong Kong pro-Democracy student group known for staunchly defending the territory’s education policy from Beijing influence and leading the 2014 Umbrella Movement. Going on to defend local interests and volunteering for numerous civil society initiatives, Hui retained her fervour for Hong Kong democracy even once she left to study journalism in the US in September 2016.
In April 2019, Hui made headlines with her article “I am from Hong Kong, not China,” a piece that discussed the foundations of pro-democracy activism in Hong Kong. While many resonated with her message, she received backlash from the Chinese community at her university.
Despite being abroad during the subsequent 2019-2020 protests, Hui did not abandon the democracy movement. She organized global solidarity rallies and briefed US officials on the plight of her people while facing further scrutiny and opposition from the Chinese nationalists around her.
After graduating in 2020, Hui returned to Hong Kong. However, fearing for her safety upon the imposition of the National Security Law, she made the difficult position to seek asylum in the US shortly after.
Hui’s activism led her to establish We the Hongkongers, an organization dedicated to promoting and strengthening the culture and identity of Hongkongers abroad. Her role as Policy and Advocacy coordinator for the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation allows her to also seek CCP regime accountability and raise the issue of Hong Kong political prisoners to the international agenda.