200 fleeing HK seek solace in Taiwan churchLocal | 30 Dec 2019 12:39 pm
A church in Taiwan says it has offered humanitarian assistance to some 200 people who have fled Hong Kong after taking part in anti-government protests, and many of those seeking refuge are traumatized by their experiences, RTHK reports.
The Chi-Nan Presbyterian Church in Taipei said today that many of the young people it has helped have post-traumatic stress disorder following their run-ins with the Hong Kong police.
The church's Reverend Huang Chunsheng says some of those in hiding say they can still smell the tear gas, even though they are now safe in Taiwan.
Some jump out of their beds in panic in the middle of the night due to fear that the sound of people walking outside the room is the police coming for them, Huang said.
The reverend told RTHK that professionals have been providing the protesters with free counseling.
He added that those they have been helping range in age from their teens to their 30s, and many fled Hong Kong because they were scared they would be prosecuted for joining protest action, even though most have not faced charges.
Some NGOs in Taiwan have been collecting funds to help the Hongkongers, providing them with around TW$18,000 (HK$4,600) per month to cover their daily expenses and housing costs.
Meanwhile, a volunteer legal team on the island says it has helped around a hundred protesters deal with visa issues. It has urged the Taiwanese authorities to use their discretion when it comes to applications from the Hongkongers for right of abode.-Photo: RTHK