Hong Kong: Cease the prosecution of pro-democracy activists
3 December 2020 6:57 pm
In response to Hong Kong’s sentencing of pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam yesterday, Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu, FORUM-ASIA Executive Director said:
Hong Kong should immediately and unconditionally release pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam. The continuing judicial harassment against them constitutes an immense violation of their fundamental rights to freely assemble and express their dissent against repressive governmental policies. It highlights the unabated attacks against Hong Kong’s democracy movement and only serves to further reinforce a chilling environment among its peoples.
Over the past year, despite international scrutiny, China and Hong Kong have continued to dismantle the democratic institutions that have once characterised the autonomous city. It passed an over-reaching national security law with vague and broad provisions that would expand China’s control and effectively criminalise dissenters and human rights defenders. In November, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council passed a law barring legislators who refuse to recognise China’s sovereignty over the city state, immediately disqualifying four legislators, and leading to a mass resignation of opposition members.
Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam have become inspirations for social movements across Asia and globally for their commitment to push for democracy amidst aggressive tactics by China. FORUM-ASIA stands in solidarity with them, and with the peaceful democracy movement as they continue to fight for the fundamental rights of everyone in Hong Kong.
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) is a regional network of 81 member organisations across 21 Asian countries, with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and consultative relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. Founded in 1991, FORUM-ASIA works to strengthen movements for human rights and sustainable development through research, advocacy, capacity-development and solidarity actions in Asia and beyond. Its regional secretariat is in Bangkok, and it has sub-regional offices in Geneva, Jakarta, and Kathmandu. www.forum-asia.org
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