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PSPD    People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

  • Int. Solidarity
  • 2019.08.08
  • 1488

The Hong Kong Government Should Immediately Stop Suppression of Democracy and Human Rights, and Guarantee Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

8 August  2019

 

The umbrellas of Hong Kong opened again.

 

The protests that began on 31 March  2019 demanding the withdrawal of ‘Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Amendment Bill(Extradition Bill)’ in Hong Kong are continuing until today. The protests started with 12,000 people but has expanded to more than 1 million as of  June, 2019. Though Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, announced the tentative suspension of the amendment  on 15 June, more people are joining the protest  demanding complete withdrawal of the extradition bill and the resignation of the Chief Executive. While the Hong Kong government began a violent crackdown on the protesters, the central government of China has ‘warned’ its armed intervention. Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly of Hong Kong citizens is being seriously violated. We, 92 South Korean NGOs, are expressing our grave concerns on indiscriminate and violent crackdown on peaceful protesters in Hong Kong and express our solidarity to Hong Kong people's persistent resistance for democracy and human rights. 

 

The extradition amendment bill, of which the Hong Kong citizens are calling for the complete withdrawal, enables the extradition of criminals to China, Taiwan and Macau, which have not signed extradition agreement with Hong Kong. While the current extradition bill makes it mandatory to go through the deliberation of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong to extradite criminals, the amendment bill allows the court to make decisions just through a review of documents without interrogation process if the Chief Executive decides to do so. Under the situation that the involvement and pressure of China are increasing, Hong Kong people are concerned that the bill, if passed, will threaten the safety of human rights activists, journalists and NGO activists in Hong Kong and jeopardize Hong Kong's autonomy. Given that there are not enough safeguards to protect the human rights of Hong Kong citizens, and that the Chief Executive of Hong Kong is elected by a pro-government electoral college and receive a final appointment from the Chinese government, the Hong Kong citizens' call that the extradition amendment bill should be completely withdrawn is fair. Also, Hong Kong citizens' protests are an expression of their strong desire for democracy and human rights. It reflects  social and economic deprivation of Hong Kong people and the reality that Hong Kong's autonomy is not guaranteed.

 

However, the Hong Kong government is pushing ahead with a harsh crackdown and indiscriminate arrests, labeling the protests as illegal. Police fired rubber bullets and "straight tear gas" at the protesters, leaving dozens of injured and arresting about 500 people so far since last June. The government even indicted 44 participants of the protest which was held on 28 July, on a charge of rioting. The excessive response of the police is a clear violation of <the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials>, freedom of peaceful assembly and association as specified in ‘the Basic Law’, which is the constitution of Hong Kong, as well as  the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In addition, on 29 July, the central government of China also labeled Hong Kong protests as ‘violent’ and ‘illegal’, strongly criticizing the protesters for "any act that harms the sovereignty and security of the country is unacceptable," and even forewarned the possibility of deploying the People's Liberation Army. The actual armed intervention of China would result in unpredictable incidents, and it could be recorded as another history of oppression on democracy. It should never happen.

 

Despite the harsh crackdown of the Hong Kong government and the ‘warning’ of China, the resistance of Hong Kong citizens is spreading to all levels of society. On 5 August, half a million people participated in a general strike, and simultaneous protests continued late into the night. We fully support the desire of Hong Kong citizens to protect democracy and human rights, and stress that freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly and association should be guaranteed under any circumstances. In addition, we urge the Hong Kong government to stop the indiscriminate arrests of protesters and withdraw the indictment. We stand in solidarity with Hong Kong citizens' peaceful and persistent resistance for democracy and human rights. 

 

 

The statement is endorsed by 92 South Korean NGOs: 

416JakartaCandlelights

80 million's movement for one korea

Activists group for Human Rights 'BARAM’

Asan YMCA

Asian Dignity Initiative

Bucheon YMCA

Buddhist Human Rights Committee

Catholic Human Rights Committee

Catholic Justice Implementation National Union

CHANG: Korea Human Rights Research Center

Citizens Opening the World for Welfare

Civil Society Organizations Network in Korea

Committee to Support Imprisoned Workers

Daegu Women's Association

Dasan Human Rights Center

Disability and Human Rights in Action

Fiends of Asia

Goyang YMCA

Gwang-Ju Human Rights Center Hwal JJak

Human Rights Education Center 'Deul'

Human Rights Education Onda

Human Rights Movement Space 'Hwal'

Imagination for International Solidarity

Incheon Human Rights Film Festival

International Conference for Peace in East Asia

Jeju Dark Tours

Jeju Peace Human rights Center

Jeju peace human rights institute WHAT

Jeonju YMCA

Jeonnam Maeul Network

Jesuit Research Center for Advocacy and Solidarity

Jungnang hope solidarity

KFEM Dangjin

Korea Federation for Environmental Movements

Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center

Korea Women's Hot Line

Korea YMCA

Korean Coalition for Abolishment of Insecurity Employment

Korean Confederation of Trade Unions

Korean Federation for Environmental Movement of Yesan Hongseong (KFEM Yesan Hongseong) 

Korean Gay Men's Human Rights Group 'Chingusai'

Korean House for International Solidarity

Korean New Zealanders for a Better future

Korean People’s Solidarity Against Poverty

Korean Progressive Network 'Jinbonet'

Korean Women Workers Association

Korean Women’s Association United

Kyunggi Women’s Associations United

Life & Safety Network

Migrants center FRIENDS

MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society International Solidarity Committee

Namum Munhwa

National Solidarity against Sexual Exploitation of Women

National YWCA of KOREA

OFM

Paju YMCA

Palestine Peace & Solidarity in South Korea

PEACEMOMO

People & Commune

People's Initiative for Development Alternatives

People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

PINKS: SOLIDARITY FOR SEXUAL MINORITY CULTURES & HUMAN RIGHTS

Pohang Women's association

QUV; Solidarity of University and Youth Queer Societies in Korea

Rainbow Action Against Sexual-Minority Discrimination

RAVE

Restorative Justice Korea

Sarangbang Group for Human Rights

Seosan-Taean Federation for Environmental Movements

Seoul Human Rights Film Festival

Society of international solidarity in Justice party

Solidarity against Disability Discrimination

Solidarity for Another World

Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea

Solidarity for Worker’s Health

Study Group for East Asia Social Movement 

Supporters for the Health And Rights of People in the Semiconductor industry 

Suwon Women's Association

The April 9 Unification & Peace Foundation

The Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice

The Korean Catholic Women's Community for a New World

The National Council of Churches in Korea Human Rights Center

The National Council of Churches in Korea International Committee

Women Making Peace

Women with Disabilities Empathy

Womenlink

Won Buddhism Human Rights Committee

Yeosu YMCA

Youth -lrights Center 

 

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