Joint Statement Condemning the Mass Arrest of Prominent Hong Kong Democracy Activists
We, Hong Kong support groups around the world, strongly condemn the mass arrest in Hong Kong of fifteen prominent democracy activists and lawmakers on charges of organizing, publicizing and taking part in peaceful protests in 2019. This police action has further threatened the rule of law, liberty, and the autonomy of Hong Kong.
Thousands of Hongkongers fighting for freedom have been arrested for involvement in demonstrations since June 2019, many on rioting charges that could lead to an imprisonment of up to 10 years. The arrest of Martin Lee, known as the Father of Hong Kong Democracy, Jimmy Lai, the owner of Apple Daily, and thirteen other activists signals a ramped up crackdown on Hong Kong civil society. Cynically, the HKSAR administration has chosen to launch this attack on human rights while the rest of the world is preoccupied with the coronavirus pandemic. This act to silence dissent and instigate white terror appears to aim at disrupting pro-democracy forces in the lead-up to the September Legislative Council election. It is also clear that since the fourth plenum last year, Beijing has adopted an increasingly hardline approach towards Hong Kong, ramping up political interference and destroying its reputation as an open and free society.
While demonstrations in Hong Kong have tapered off as the city is struggling to contain the Coronavirus outbreak, these high-profile arrests, along with a renewed push for the enactment of the repressive national security legislation Article 23, aim to strangle freedom of expression in Hong Kong. This will only increase the resentment of the people of Hong Kong towards their puppet government and its controllers in Beijing.
We therefore call upon the international community to:
- strongly condemn the violation of human rights, liberty, rule of law and autonomy by Chinese and HKSAR officials in arresting and charging of democracy activists in Hong Kong,
- demand for the immediate and unconditional dismissal of charges against all democracy activists, and
- apply the Magnitsky Law, Human Rights and Democracy Act, or other relevant national legislation to sanction Chinese and HKSAR officials responsible for the violation of human rights, freedom of expression and assembly in Hong Kong.
Action Free Hong Kong Montreal
Adelaide Stand with Hong Kong
Australia Hong Kong Link
Canada-Hong Kong Link
Canberra Hong Kong Concern Group
Comité pour la Liberté Hong Kong
Democracy for Hong Kong (UK)
Hongkongers' Group of the Republic of Korea
Hong Kong Committee in Norway
Hong Kong Dossier
Hong Kong Forum, Los Angeles
Germany Stands with Hong Kong
North California Hong Kong Club
Netherlands for Hong Kong
Seattle Hong Kong Students Alliance
Stöd Hongkong (Sweden)
Støt Hong Kong (Denmark)
Toronto Association for Democracy in China
Torontonian Hongkongers Action Group
Vancouver Hong Kong Forum Society
Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement
Victoria Hongkongers Association (Australia)
Brief biographical information on the fifteen arrested Hong Kong activists
Martin Lee Chu-ming (李柱銘), SC, JP, the founding chair of the Democratic Party, was also a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong from 1985 to 1997 and from 1998 to 2008. Often called the "Father of Democracy" in Hong Kong, he is one of its most prominent advocates for democracy and human rights.
Jimmy Chee-Ying Lai (黎智英) is an entrepreneur and media tycoon. He founded Next Digital, a Hong Kong-listed media company and is the owner of Apple Daily.
Margaret Ngoi-yee Ng (吳靄儀) is a barrister, writer and columnist. She was a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong from 1995 to 2012. She is an executive committee member of the Civic Party.
Albert Chun-yan Ho (何俊仁) is a solicitor and chair of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China. A former member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, he was chair of the Democratic Party from 2006 to 2012.
Kwok-hung Leung (梁國雄), also known as "Long Hair", was a member of the Legislative Council representing the New Territories East. He is a former chair of the League of Social Democrats.
Nok-hin Au (歐諾軒) was a member of the Legislative Council for Hong Kong Island from 2018 to 2019 and a member of the Southern District Council for Lei Tung I from 2012 to 2019. Au is a former convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front.
Cyd Sau-lan Ho (何秀蘭) is a former member of the Legislative Council for the Hong Kong Island constituency. A founding member of the Labour Party, she is its vice-chair.
Cheuk-yan Lee (李卓人) is General Secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions. A former chairperson of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement in China, he was a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong from 1995 to 2016.
Sum Yeung (楊森) is a lecturer at the University of Hong Kong. He served several terms as a Legislative Councillor and is the former second chair of the Democratic Party.
Richard Yiu-Cheong Tsoi (蔡耀昌) is the former vice-chairperson of the Democratic Party. He was elected as Sha Tin District Councillor in 2003.
Chung-kai Sin (單仲偕) is a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party and the chair of Kwai Ting District Council. He is a former member of Hong Kong Legislative Council.
Avery Man-yuen Ng (吳文遠) is the Secretary General of the League of Social Democrats.
Figo Ho-wun Chan (陳晧桓) is the Vice Convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front.
Raphael Ho-ming Wong (黃浩銘) is the Chair of the League of Social Democrats.
Yiu-chung Leung (梁耀忠) is a member of the pro-labour Neighbourhood and Worker's Service Centre. He has served as a Legislative Councillor of Hong Kong since 1995.