Dutch solidarity with democratic protests in Hong Kong


27th Aug 2019 (Amsterdam) – On 31st August (Sat), Netherlands for Hong Kong will organize a rally at the Dam Square in Amsterdam between 3pm and 5pm in support of the concurrent democratic protests in Hong Kong. The rally on 31st August will mark the 5th anniversary of the “8.31 decision” made by Chinese government, barring genuine democratic election in Hong Kong.

We are a mixed group of Hong Kong nationals, immigrants and international sympathizers, worried about the increasing threat to judicial freedom and freedom of speech in Hong Kong. Since the situation is of utmost concern not only for Hong Kong people but also the global community, we think that EU citizens and their political representatives need to be aware of its relevance and act accordingly.

With this rally, we hope to gain support and to raise awareness of the ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong. These gatherings included millions of Hongkong citizens from all walks of life began 10 weeks ago over the planned introduction of an extradition bill and are ongoing. The Hong Kong government has yet to a genuine response to any of their demands. Today (27th Aug), Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, said protests will be addressed with local laws, amid rumours of emergency legislation.

Furthermore, demonstrations have been met with excessive police force, using tear gas, rubber bullets and recently pistol to scare protesters into submission. Two police officers were caught on video torturing a 62-year-old man in a hospital bed [1]. There have been reports of sexual abuse of arrested female protesters under police detainment. Until 27th August, 883 people had been arrested for their participation in protests, the youngest arrestee is only 12 years old.

Hong Kong has been a close economic partner of the Netherlands, and an essential portal to the Chinese market. According to official statistics for 2016, Dutch-owned companies based in Hong Kong have an annual revenue of €26 billion, not to mention additional trading made possible to the other parts of Asia. The continued judicial freedom in Hong Kong is therefore of great interest to the Dutch economy.

Quoting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: „Promoting and protecting human rights worldwide is a priority in the foreign policy of the Netherlands” [2] and “The Netherlands plays an active role in preventing armed conflict worldwide” [3], we would like to urge the Dutch government to take a more active role in liaising with the Hong Kong government in peacefully resolving the current political conflict. Netherlands for Hong Kong

[1]: https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/08/20/two-hong-kong-police-officers-arrested-torture-62-year-old-arrestee-hospital/
[2]: https://www.government.nl/topics/human-rights
[3]: https://www.government.nl/topics/international-peace-and-security