HONG KONG (AP) — After two years of turmoil and transformation. Hong Kong has never been the same for Mike Hui. A month ago, the 36-year-old photographer uprooted and moved with his wife and young daughter to the UK to try a fresh start.
“I feel like I can’t stay any longer. And I cannot let the next generation grow up in a society like this,” he said.
His departure comes after anti-government protests split the city in 2019 and a subsequent crackdown that saw pro-democracy activists finalize and curb dissent.
Until early April, Hui was a news photographer for Apple Daily, a pro-democracy newspaper that was shut down last week following the arrest of five editors and chief executives and asset freezing under national security laws at the Communist Party. Chinese Vanist Determined Hong Kong is part of the crackdown.
He called off the newspaper, which he had been working on for seven years, heartbreaking.
“I feel that all my memories of these years And everything that proves that I exist in this place and in this industry has disappeared … It’s like losing a family member very close to you,” he said.
Hui misses his family and friends. but less than the city where he was born and raised. “I have no strong feelings about the place after it collapsed in the last two years,” he said.
He pointed to the July 2019 attack on people in the subway by mob against the ongoing protests. The incident came amid tensions between police and protest supporters. And many, including Hui, were disappointed by the way the police handled the attack on Yuen Long.
The introduction of a national security law a year later catapulted him to his decision to resign, he said.
Adjusting to life in Leeds city in the north of england Probably the easiest for his 5-year-old daughter. Before leaving, Hui told her that their new home was where people of different skin colors and races lived. Just like in the Disney movie “Frozen.”
She enjoys a spacious park. A toy store that looks like a big warehouse. and bigger bedrooms in crowded Hong Kong. “However, she’s young and she doesn’t know what’s going on,” he said.
Despite being in the media for more than 10 years, Hui has no plans to take on the job again in the UK. At least it’s not a full-time job. He had no intention of returning to Hong Kong’s life.
“After moving here I want to have new ideas,” he said. “I want to start over and challenge myself. You have to move on from something … and try something new.”