Hongkongers Converge on Washington to Call For Sanctions Against Police, Leaders

Sandra Loyd

Pro-democracy legislators from Hong Kong are lobbying the U.S. federal government to enforce sanctions on senior authorities in the city over police violence and human rights infractions throughout 2015’s demonstrations.

Charles Mok, Jeremy Tam and Kenneth Leung of Hong Kong’s Legal Council (LegCo) remain in Washington ahead of the administration’s review of the city’s human rights circumstance under the Hong Kong Person Rights and Democracy Act gone by Congress last November.

The law needs Washington to review Hong Kong’s rights circumstance and political liberties, part of the factor the city is currently offered different trade treatment from the rest of China and enables financial and visa-related sanctions against authorities evaluated to be accountable for rights abuses.

Mok, Tam, and Leung stated they have actually prepared a list of high-ranking authorities who might be targeted under the Act, consisting of police chief Chris Tang and security minister John Lee.

On the other hand, lots of U.S.-based Hongkongers showed up in Washington to lobby U.S. members of Congress for sanctions on Tuesday.

Samuel Chu of the U.S.-based Hong Kong Democracy Council called on individuals to approach their Senators and Agents in their city.

“The main goal these days’ activity is for [the voices of] Hongkongers in the U.S. to be heard in Congress,” Chu stated. “We want members of Congress to know that we’re not just lobbying; we will do anything in our power to protect Hong Kong, and we’re going to keep up the pressure.”

“This is also the first time that U.S.-based Hongkongers have come to Washington and started to learn how to do advocacy work, and about how the congressional system works,” he stated.

Chu, who was born and raised in Hong Kong, is the more youthful child of the Rev. Chu Yiu Ming, among the initiators of the 2014 Occupy Central democracy campaign, who later on served time in prison for “inciting others to illegal assembly.”

The advocates had actually consulted with 6 members of Congress by the end of Tuesday, hoping to put their case ahead of the first review of Hong Kong’s status in Might.

No improvement is seen

Agent Jim McGovern, chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), stated the circumstance in Hong Kong hasn’t enhanced given that the Act was passed.

He stated the lobbying effort was simply the start of pressure on China from Washington over the disintegration of Hong Kong’s assured rights and liberties.

MPs in the U.K. on Tuesday introduced an All Celebration Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong which will command official questions into human rights abuses, specifically by the Hong Kong police.

“Many disturbing reports have emerged in personal accounts, through social and conventional media, and there is a global concern both about what is happening to Hong Kong and the damage done to international norms and standards,” the group’s co-chair Baroness Bennett stated in a declaration.

“This inquiry will produce a report that aims to be a resource for informing the actions of the UK and other governments, international rights bodies, and campaigners.”

Later on the case for sanctions

Former Occupy Central student leader Joshua Wong stated he isn’t confident of instant sanctions against Hong Kong authorities in the middle of the continuous coronavirus epidemic and U.S. governmental primaries, however that proof can be assembled to make a case for sanctions in the meantime.

“Even if there are no immediate sanctions … we think we can lobby the U.S. to launch an inquiry into police violence in the next year or so,” Wong stated.

Charles Mok stated speculation by Hong Kong authorities following joint conferences in Washington that there would be no action by the Trump administration was early.

” Hearing that and believing ‘Oh, we have no problem’, I believe that is just the view of the pro-establishment [side],” he stated in remarks reported by federal government broadcaster RTHK.

“From the meeting, we did not get that impression,” Mok stated.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Person Rights and Democracy Act on Nov. 27, 2019, a week after the legislation cleared your home of Representatives 417 -1 in a show of assistance for Hong Kong after months of pro-democracy demonstrations.

The brand-new act needs the U.S. State Department to report each year to Congress whether Hong Kong is “sufficiently autonomous from China” to validate keeping the city’s unique trading status, and whether China has “eroded Hong Kong’s civil liberties and rule of law,” as secured by the city’s Basic Law.

It likewise makes it possible for the U.S. federal government to freeze the properties of, and decline visas to, authorities considered accountable for human rights infractions in the city.

10s of countless individuals put onto the streets of Hong Kong, waving American flags and singing the national anthem of the United States in a gesture of thanks after the Act was passed.

Violence by police

Hong Kong police have actually been commonly slammed for extreme force, approximate violence and abuse of power given that the anti-extradition motion expanded into a city-wide pro-democracy motion in June 2019.

Rights groups, pro-democracy political leaders, and the demonstration motion have all required independent questions into police violence and abuse of power, stating that the existing problems system builds up to the police examining problems against themselves.

Strategies by Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam to enable the extradition of supposed criminal suspects to deal with the trial in mainland China triggered mass street demonstrations beginning in early June that were soon followed by prevalent public anger at police usage of force against serene demonstrators and needs for completely democratic elections.

Lam ultimately withdrew the disliked changes to the city’s extradition laws in October 2019, however, stopped short of conference protesters’ needs for an amnesty for arrestees, an independent public questions into police violence and abuse of power, an end to the description of protesters as “rioters,” and completely democratic elections.

A January viewpoint survey discovered that the majority of Hong Kong’s homeowners supported the 5 needs of the demonstration motion, with more than one-third of participants stating they had actually participated in a demonstration.

Just 30 percent stated they were opposed, compared to 59 percent of those surveyed who supported the motion.

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