For immediate release

Solidarity with 12 Hong Kong Detainees in The Hague

23rd Oct 2020 (The Hague) – On this Saturday 24th October, Hongkongers living in the Netherlands, as well as Dutch people with ties to Hong Kong, will gather at 14:30 on Lange Vijverberg in the Hague to show their solidarity with twelve young Hong Kong protesters, who have been abducted to China two months ago and detained in incommunicado ever since. As part of a global call on world governments to express their concern over the twelve, the activists chose to rally at the water front of Hofvijver, in front of the Dutch parliament building in The Hague. They hope that the government, and Dutch members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, will answer this global call and remind China of its international agreement to protect human rights, as it did when the Chinese foreign minister visited the Netherlands. The activists will light up large LED signs at the rally to show support from the Netherlands to the families of the twelve youths.

For details contact nlforhk@gmail.com, visit the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/789541148258099 or follow the hashtag: #Save12HKYouth.

The following is the call and demands of the campaign:

Statement for "Global Solidarity with 12 Hong Kong Youths" Campaign

Two months have passed since the abduction of the twelve youths by the Chinese Coast Guard in waters just off Hong Kong, whose jurisdiction is unclear, and the youths' subsequent incommunicado detention in Shenzhen. Since then they have gone radio silent, and nobody from Hong Kong has been able to obtain updates about their condition. Their most basic human rights have been denied by the Chinese authorities. The manner in which the authorities of China and Hong Kong have handled this incident once again demonstrate their utter disregard for fundamental rights, civil and political liberties, and the rule of law.

China’s authoritarianism is in expansion. It has repeatedly employed “hostage diplomacy”, wherein citizens of non-Chinese jurisdictions are detained for the purpose of political leverage. This incident is the latest in a pattern of impunity - the twelve are being held in incommunicado and are likely subjected to torture and inhumane conditions. Under the pretext of (the Chinese interpretation of) the rule of law, the government is targeting and persecuting them entirely based on political reasons, and it is also grossly out of proportion with their alleged crimes.

During the last two months, the twelve Hongkongers have been denied access to legal counsel by lawyers of their choice. Lawyers retained by their families had to drop their cases after experiencing intimidation and threats from the authorities. The twelve have been denied the right to contact family members, and vital medical attention and medications have been withheld. It is highly probable that they are subjected to tortures and inhumane treatments, so that they will be coerced into making false confessions.

In solidarity with the 12 Hong Kong Youths, Hongkongers worldwide and international friends, who are concerned about the city and human rights, demand the following of the Chinese government:

  1. Immediate release of the 12 Hong Kong Youths back to Hong Kong; and
  2. Grant and protect the fundamental rights of political prisoners, including the right to freely choose their legal representatives, the right to proper medical treatment, and the right to be in contact with and be contacted by the outside world.

At the same time, we urge governments around the world to express their concern regarding the 12 Hong Kong Youths to the Chinese government and to call for their immediate release.

The people of Hong Kong have fought and resisted tirelessly, for precisely the hope that such oppression do not occur anymore, and that one day we may live without the fear of political charges. Notwithstanding the increasingly draconian measures by the Chinese government, Hongkongers will continue our struggle for democracy and liberty until the day when Hong Kong is truly free.

May our twelve brothers and sisters come home soon. Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.