Petition Submission to Amsterdam: End Sister Cities with Beijing and Shenzhen
For immediate release
28th June, 2020 (Amsterdam) - On 1st July (Wed), the activist groups Netherlands for Hong Kong (NL4HK) and Amsterdam Stands with Hong Kong will organize a rally in front of the Amsterdam city council (stadhuis) and submit a petition to [the mayor/a city council member], requesting an end to the sister city relationship between Amsterdam and Beijing and Shenzhen.
The 1st of July marks the 23rd anniversary of the British handover of Hong Kong to communist China. Under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, Hong Kong is guaranteed a high degree of autonomy and the citizens' rights and freedom to remain unchanged for at least 50 years. However, the Beijing government has been exerting an increasing amount of control over the civil liberty of citizens in Hong Kong over the years, highlighted by the on-going protests and the heavy-handed response by the Hong Kong Government that have lasted for more than one year. The recently announced National Security Legislation that will bypass the Hong Kong legislature and to be imposed unilaterally, is another alarming move by Beijing and a flagrant breach of the legally binding Sino British Joint Declaration.
The city of Amsterdam embraces openness, tolerance, strong civic participation, and its residents uphold a strong belief in freedom, democracy and respect of human rights. Two of Amsterdam's twin cities, Beijing and Shenzhen, are cities that defy these values and suppress basic human rights of its own people. This is exemplified by China's systematic abuse of ethnic minorities such as Tibetans and Uyghurs, repression against religious groups like Christians and Falun Gong, arbitrary arrests and detention of civil rights defenders. Therefore a partnership with them appears to be incongruent to what Amsterdam represents. As residents of Amsterdam, the petition holders request for such partnerships to be severed in order to restore the true values embraced by Amsterdammers!
online version of petition: https://steunhongkongstopstedenband.petities.nl/
Netherlands for Hong Kong Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/nl4hk/
Amsterdam Stands with Hong Kong Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/amsstandswithhk/
For further information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org