Inside the Secret Network Helping Protesters Flee Hong Kong | The Dispatch

We’re on our way to the
airport in Taipei, Taiwan. We got a tip that some
protesters, who are fleeing Hong Kong, just landed here. “You O.K.? How do you feel? O.K.?” When we find the group, they’re exhausted
and afraid to talk. “So everyone was arrested
last night?” But they didn’t plan
the journey alone. We learned that a secret
pipeline, including donors and smugglers, has helped more
than 200 protesters escape. We wanted to trace
this covert network from one end to the other
because right now, hundreds more are facing
serious charges and must make a choice: risk spending
years in prison or leave home,
possibly forever. Taiwan is a self-ruled
and democratic island that Beijing considers
to be part of China. Hong Kong also has a
degree of sovereignty that Beijing could strip away. So, many in Taiwan share
a similar perspective with protesting Hong Kongers. They view China’s
Communist Party as a threat to their autonomy. For Hong Kongers
fleeing here, it’s a friendly destination
and a stark departure from the unrest back home. Unrest that has roiled
Hong Kong for months. Thousands have been arrested. Nearly one-third of them
are younger than 18. If convicted, they could
spend years in prison. But the tension here goes
beyond riots and clashes. Protesters tell us they have
the eerie sense that they’re being watched and followed. “How are you?” At the start of the summer,
Ali was a senior in college, about to begin her career
as a school teacher. Then she joined the movement. “There was an incident
with the police. Can you tell me about that?” “What is the penalty
for rioting?” Ali is out on bail, awaiting
further legal proceedings. But police confiscated
her passport. “Without a passport, how would
you be able to get to Taiwan?” If she decides to flee,
she would need to travel illegally
and pay a hefty price. Some fishermen charge
as much as $10,000 per person, which
is why a big part of the underground network
is made up of volunteers who raise money, like this woman. She may never meet the
protesters she’s helping, but she’s an important
link in the chain. She coordinates through
face-to-face meetings and encrypted messages. “So this says —” That’s code for:
‘I want to contribute money to the cause.’ And a lot of them
are strangers? Like, they’ll just —” She says she has raised
over $60,000, which has helped 11 people
flee to Taiwan by plane. Back in Taiwan,
we’re following the group of protesters who
just arrived at the airport. Their first stop
is this church. Pastor Huang is a key player
in this network that’s sympathetic to the
movement in Hong Kong. He’s saying that
people in Taiwan can relate to the plight
of Hong Kongers who feel targeted by China, like Daniel. Daniel was part
of a group that stormed Hong Kong’s
Legislative Council building on July 1. He heard police were
identifying participants in the surveillance
footage, so he fled. But they’re in a legal
no man’s land. The Taiwanese government
is treading carefully, presumably to avoid
provoking Beijing. It’s allowing protesters
to stay on visitors’ visas, but has not offered
them a path to asylum. “Could you ever have
imagined that you would be living in the way
that you are right now?”

Yvette Parker


  1. Well…. it's logical… either stay and conform or leave. It's been done for ccenturies. P.s. Taiwan is just another colonial outpost of Britain and Americans.

  2. Now the Chinese sea police will stop and check every boat outbounding from Hongkong.

  3. May be should use their brain before they use action. Guess Taiwan not welcome with open arms. What a joke.

  4. Nyt =cheap news agency. This is the rule of law under the law of HK which has a British legal system to deal with rioting, vandalism, damage to property public and private and beating up police and public who dont agree with them including setting fire on people by some rioters.

  5. The british government should expand the passport given to colonial hong kong citizens to automatically include children of colonial hong kong citizens and allow for passport holders to have a guaranteed visa that allows for six months inside of the UK and a expatiated pathway to permanent residence and easier access to student visa programs inside the UK and use their diplomatic ties to pressure other commonwealth and western countries to allow for hong kongers to easier obtain visas/PR/SV or asylum. Thatcher may have foolishly given away hong kong but the country should not forget about it's former citizens

  6. Cowards flee leaving behind their compatriots who have no means to flee, to bear the consequences. They will now live in relative luxury in the West. The suckers left behind will not be so lucky.
    Wise up HK protesters, and stop being used anymore.
    To you priests, you are not helping to bring about peace, but you are encouraging violence and civil disobedience. How ungodly can you get.

  7. Dare to riot but not take the consequences of the British rule of law. Even a pastor is a lover of rioting.

  8. We need to protect our children when the CCP China behave like evil/devil. Crazy Carrie Lam Government. Shame on them.

  9. Mainland China is the only hope for mankind to stop the murder machine of the empire.

  10. So do they regret being so reckless and be so violent to the ordinary citizens of Hong Kong and the Police in Hong Kong? Happy punishing yourself since you have chosen to be so violent against the Hong Kong people.

    These criminals need to be extradited back to Hong Kong to face justice.

  11. So you mean it is good choice to run away after destroying your homeland? What will the new york times say if all this happen in US? CAN'T BELIEVE YOUR VALUES!

  12. All their front line psychos are detained or running chickens. It's now time to round up the orchestrators to finish.

  13. 你们不应该逃跑呀!一旦逃了那你们之前的索求就破功了不是吗!应该坦白的留守在香港,坦然的面对一切法律的判决,这也是你们追求的不是吗!如果中国正如你们所认为的没有法治的极权,那你们就更应该勇敢坦然的就义,好来证明你们的战斗是真实值得的!同时也可以验证你们所崇拜的西方民主国家的。。。《真》!

  14. You lot said you fight to free Hong Kong and not afraid of what's coming but end off the day you run off and hide.

  15. So you feel bad that your fellow rioters were beaten by police? How about the innocent old man who was stoned to death? The man who was set on fire simply for holding a different point of view? Why are you fleeing? You want justice? How about facing a judicial system for all that you have done to the people of HK, you morons!

  16. When you riot and destroy public property, you are a criminal in any country that worth monitored. Nothing new.

  17. Send them to countries liberated by USA such as Iraq, Afghanistan & Libya. Let them see the destruction under the name of democracy and freedom provided by the evil regime in Washington DC.

  18. best way to let the people know the US propaganda for so-called "democracy and freedom", hahaha, shame on you, NYT.

  19. You broke the law and you have to face the consequence of it, helping these fugitives running away from the punishment is an erosion to the law, do any of you understand this?

  20. Thats why the protest should’ve just stopped with the bill. But they dont get it, its obvious the government won’t just let the protestors do whatever they want. Hongkong protest is only good to a certain extent.

    Stop have violent protest

  21. They will be subdued in Taiwan. No more bullying no more foul mouth. Taiwan welcome you. Hong Kong have lesser criminals

  22. Why go Taiwan when it has the potential of being bombed? Come to Malaysia 🇲🇾 we are safe and we got a lot of people who can also speak Cantonese.

  23. The New York Times
    , you're known to be biased and a disgrace to the journalism world.

  24. NO fund raising for older locals…not young and slim and educated…who lose their jobs..businesses…flats…Cause its not such a romantic boo hoo sob story….

  25. Haha, now they are fleeing? why, after they have ruined the city for 6 entire months burning and destroying properties and brutlizing other citizens but now they don't want to face any legal consequences and somehow you are helping criminals flee a country and making it seen like that's a honorable thing. But that is good, i say take them ALL please into your own country

  26. The Chinese government start to move ….they don’t do it on the road where everyone expect they will do it …..some they will be badly punish for what they do ! Everyone must to pay for the bad behavior for that riots and damages ! Soon they will get most of them. It’s a matter of time !

  27. US FBI would hunt down law breakers too. Nothing new. Just NYT make it a one sided view.

  28. I think China'll happily buy one trip ticket for all protesters let them flee to US. u have freedom u need. i have peaceful HK i need. Everyone is happy. oh UK dont u want some?

  29. Why run? Go back fight till end!! Taiwan fugitives till die? Who feeding you guys? Donations? Wow good deals

  30. I thought usa will give you guys citizenship And a good future? Backfire isn't it

  31. Good! Just go away please. Chinese want the land. These rioters should just go away!

  32. They killed HK residents with bricks, they burned HK residents and set fire on people(including foreigners) in the subway trains , they attacked HK residents with iron drain cover, everywhere they go they would destroy the place with extreme violence, but you called them "protestors"?????!!! What happened to the media nowadays? Speak the truth please!

  33. countries who receive such people into their land are bringing insecurity to their own citizens. Remember they are fighting for FREEDOM. You priest right there, remember when we profess our belief in GOD there is no freedom we obey God's RULE.

  34. It's even more ironic that the protests started because a Hong Kong guy killed his Taiwanese GF and fled back to Hong Kong. Now these protesters are fleeing to Taiwan, that is true irony.
    And for the guy towards the end… he stormed the Legislative building… does he have any idea what would happen to him here if he tried to storm Capital Hill?

  35. This is funny, but the majority of people think like what we see in the video. That is funny yet sad.

  36. The infestation is heading to Taiwan. Look into the future and pray for Taiwan.

    Against Civilians



    Against the Police


  37. These protestors were waving US and UK flags, why don't they flee there??? US and UK would be very happy to accept them.

  38. 2.33 You were rioting, why are you crying? You know the punishment for rioting!!! Who are you to blame but yourself! Have you ever think of your parents when you went out to protest!!!

  39. Money coming from your friends, friends friends, they are not your friends, but are those who are out to destroy and brainwashed the young Hong Kongers

  40. Pastor should not get involved with politics issue, their job is to get people to know about God n righteous. Western media show bad side of China that churches being watch but failed to tell the truth. All these western media propagranda. Any country govt find out any churches get involved with politics…do you think any govt would allow you to continue to operate as a church. Pastor help these rioters to escape… mean helping criminals so to speak. Do you think the pastor is righteous? By helping them to escape and pastor do not care how they burn the man, hurting n injurting locals and vandalise public place, distrupting people life, throw country flag into the sea? Is a serious crime commited. Pastor job is to ask these roitors to repent !

  41. Crimes don't pay. Stoning passers-by to death, punching those who disagree with the Hkroachs, slashing HK police throat & torching their neighbour on fire.
    They are pretending to be victims.

  42. This video shows how irresponsible those riots could be. They started the rioting and try to escape from the punishment.
    Economy in HK is destroyed by them, and then they flee away.

    And now I can tell why they hate that bill so much.

  43. Just let them flee, good riddence too. Ask the publisher multi millionaire to pay for all the expenses to help the youngsters flee.
    Let's face it, these stupid youths have destroyed their own future for not using their head but their emotions and being used by parties with vested interest behind the protest movements.
    These youths moving away from Hong Kong is a blessings as they will not be there to riot anymore.

  44. I hope this people never step foot on any land belongs to China.China do not need any traitors.Since they love democracy,why dont they seek asylum from the US and Britain.Even they dont deserve to step foot on Taiwan since its part of China.You reap what you saw.They dont deserve any sympathy.

  45. Why is there music in the background? This is not fiction, Vice and other news orgs do this. I don't think they should.

  46. Fact: Hong Kong is part of China.!
    So if you BANANAS don't like it.! Leave HK and never come back because by 2047. It'll be ONE COUNTRY ONE SYSTEM.!

  47. No extradition bill to send these criminals back to HK to face justice. How convenient.

  48. NYT does interview with CIA operators who smuggle ISIS members out of Syria. They are just misunderstood protestors, not terrorists. Haha. Just joking. NYT does interview with Hongkongers smuggling terrorists and rioters out of HK.

  49. kids, DLLM. I strongly support the Taiwanese church who support the HK rioters who destroyed HK. DLLM

  50. Taiwan is an island Beijing considers as part of China????? How about UN, UN considers that differently? And the Church helping those thugs, rioters, law breakers and fugitives are good???

  51. People are still joining the long, long queue to attend the funeral of 22 year university graduate Chow(Jout Gievlocke) through the day and night. The 22 year old protester fell from a car park. He suffered injuries on the back of his head and shoulder. He didn't make it to his granduation ceremony in a few days. The coroner's report says he lost conscience or serious loss of ability to move before he fell. Shouldn't someone who lost his mobility fall to the floor he was standing? How did his body move over a thick barrier and feel the floor below and died?

  52. what is the difference between unregistered protesting and rioting? I don’t think the HKers understands the difference. The same analogy as a black person arrested for stealing from a white person, who claimed he is innocent because he is only taking what is rightfully his, due to the hundreds years of slavery and unfair practices. And apparently, media agrees with the rioters. Lol

  53. If you do the same thing in the USA as these people did to HK, you may be arrested or killed.

  54. You are putting their lives at risk. The CCP thinks they are cattle and thinks they own them. But anything for a story right?

  55. Could you please delete this video NYT…. how foolish it is for my fellow protestors agreed on doing this interview

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