The Co-Chairs of the Hong Kong Watch Group of the European Parliament are united in condemnation of the arrest of over 50 Hong Kong pan-democrat politicians, activists and lawyers and call on Presidents Michel and von der Leyen, on HR/VP Borrell as well as EU member states’ governments to take urgent action.
Those arrested had taken part in primary polling for pro-democracy groups last year, with the aim of standing in the later illegitimately postponed Legislative Council elections. Many are reportedly held under the spurious charges of ‘subversion’ under the Hong Kong National Security Law, providing further proof that this law is being used to crackdown on all forms of political opposition in the city.
Today’s arrests demonstrate that despite widespread international condemnation, the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities remain undeterred in their determination to destroy the last remnants of Hong Kong’s autonomy, freedoms and rule of law. The Chinese government is making clear and repeated breaches of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, an international treaty registered at the United Nations.
We call on EU leaders to honour their past promises to the people of Hong Kong, to lodge strong and public protests with the PRC over this act of oppression and bear them in mind in all aspects of our relations with the PRC, to take the initiative to raise this issue at the UN Security Council, and to start the procedure to sanction at least against Carrie Lam under the EU’s new Global Human Rights Sanctions Mechanism. We appeal to the EU Member States and the international community to provide a life boat policy for persecuted Hong Kong democrats.
Reinhard Bütikofer (Greens/EFA)
Miriam Lexmann (EPP)
Petras Austrevicius (Renew)
Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D)
Anna Fotyga (ECR)