Hong Kong Protest Organizer Disbands After Criticisms in Beijing-Backed Media

Police say they will go ahead with a probe into the group’s members, activities, and sources of funding regardless.

Hong Kong's Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), which once organized annual mass rallies on July 1 marking the 1997 handover of the city to Beijing, announced it would disband at the weekend following repeated denunciations by media backed by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The front, which was never registered as an organization, served as a communication platform for civil society groups to promote human rights and democratic freedom in Hong Kong, according to its Facebook page.

Its job was mostly to organize large-scale, peaceful protest marches to ensure that citizens' voices were heard, it said.

"Regrettably, for more than a year now, the government has consistently rejected our applications to hold marches, using the pandemic as a pretext to suppress the rights of our members," the group said in an Aug. 15 post to its Facebook page.

"With no members participating, the secretariat has been unable to remain operational ... and we have no choice but to declare herewith that we are disbanding," it said.