Hong Kong inmate rights group Wall-fare disbands

Wall-fare, an inmate rights group which provided support to prisoners and detainees, has disbanded, it said on Tuesday.

The news came on the heels of the disbandment of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union, which passed a motion in a special meeting two days ago to officially disband the city’s largest teachers’ union.

Wall-fare, the latest pro-democracy civil society group to dissolve in recent months, was founded by former social welfare sector lawmaker Bottle Shiu Ka-chun.

Shiu said all the members agreed on Sunday to dissolve the group, but he refused to say whether the move was down to political pressure.

The group was set up to provide support for detained pro-democracy activists by raising funds to provide daily necessities and providing emotional support through a coordinated letter-writing scheme.

Writing on its Facebook page today, the group said it will cease operation today after running it for nine months. The Lai Chi Kok office will no longer be open to the public as well.

The city’s security chief Chris Tang Ping-keung claimed last week that prisoners were using privileges such as chocolates and hair clips to recruit forces to endanger national security.

Earlier this month, an elite security task force was also deployed at Hong Kong’s largest women’s prison to quash an 18-person protest.

The inmate rights group is the main advocacy group for better prisoners’ rights in Hong Kong. It launched a petition amid a scorching May month after the observatory saw a record heatwave this summer, urging authorities to urgently address the immense heat in penal institutions.

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