54 UK MPs petition for release of former Hong Kong Legislative Council member

It has been two years since the Hong Kong government indicted 47 candidates in the democratic primary. The 54 bipartisan MPs in the House of Commons and the British human rights group Hong Kong Watch called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intervene and demand the release of the defendants.

Bipartisan members, including former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten, called on British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley on February 24 to intervene in the Hong Kong government and release former Legislative Council member Claudia Mo Manchin. signed a petition to

Members also tactfully urged the Foreign Office to assist and expedite the release of BNO passport holders in the 47th Democratic primary.

Epoch Times photo
On November 12, 2020, former Hong Kong Legislative Council member and pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching handed in her resignation, dressed in black and carrying a yellow umbrella. Mo said she was “sad but relieved” and she stressed that resigning from the Legislative Council does not mean giving up the fight for Hong Kong’s democracy. (Song Biron/Epoch Times)

Despite pleading guilty, Claudia Mo (Aunt Mo to Hong Kong protester), who participated in pro-democracy primaries, has been remanded and has been in custody for more than two years.

The joint letter called for Cleverly to “intervene with the Hong Kong government on behalf of Claudia Mo” to allow Mo to visit her British husband, Philip Bowling, who is in the hospital’s intensive care unit with pneumonia. says there is.

The joint letter noted that Mo was originally a British citizen but had renounced his British citizenship for the 2012 Legislative Council elections.

The letter also notes that Philip Bowling and his children are British citizens, so the 54 members asked the Foreign Office to consider Mo’s previous British nationality. In response, he reminded him of his delicate responsibility to help Mr Mo’s release.

Members who signed the petition included Alicia Kearns, chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, former Conservative Party leader Yin Duncan-Smith, and former minister David Davis. rice field.

In January 2023, Ian Duncan-Smith once asked the late Apple Daily founder of the newsgroup Jimmy Lai during a Q&A session with the Prime Minister of Congress.

Smith replied at the time that Britain would “resolutely confront what we believe to be Chinese aggression”.

Hong Kong Watch Executive Director Benedict Rogers, who organized the co-signing, said on the second anniversary of the arrest of 47 pro-democracy advocates that Smith had listened to bipartisan lawmakers and pro-democracy lawmakers were arrested. wanted to seek his release. for humanitarian reasons.

Hostage diplomacy is becoming commonplace in China

Hong Kong Watch announced on March 2 that it had submitted evidence to the UK Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Select Committee in the case of the 47 Democratic Party. In particular Mo and he of the now disbanded Confederation of Trade Unions of Hong Kong refer to Carol Ng Man-yee. .

Hong Kong claimed that both Mo and Ng, who were once British citizens, were part of British families.

Hong Kong Watch will also investigate as soon as possible whether the 47 democrats arrested had any contacts with the UK, including family members of British citizens, BNO passport holders, and the UK citizenship status of family members. I requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to do so.

Hong Kong Watch also reiterated that the UK government should work with like-minded partners to force the release of 47 democrats.

The organization also said the political trial was a stain on Hong Kong’s past status as a center of independent justice and the rule of law.

Sam Goodman, director of policy and public affairs at Hong Kong Watch, said the foreign ministry had coordinated efforts to address the increased use of hostage diplomacy by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its refusal to recognize dual citizenship. A consistent strategy needs to be developed, he said.

Mo’s husband became seriously ill

The news broke suddenly in early February 2023. Philip Bowring was hospitalized with pneumonia and was in intensive care.

At the time, Chan Ka-long, Mo’s former assistant and former Yau Tsim Mang District Councilor, posted a complaint on Facebook saying that authorities could release Mo on humanitarian grounds to care for her loved ones. I was hoping

Philip Bowring is an 80-year-old British journalist and historian who has lived in Asia since 1973. Bowring has worked as a reporter, editor and columnist for several prominent media outlets. He was also editor-in-chief of the Far East Economic Review.

In April 2021, Mo’s bail was denied. Bowling attended the courtroom and was very emotional upon hearing closing statements from both the prosecutor and the defense attorney.

Mo started as a journalist. Mo rose to fame as a reporter for Agence France-Presse, TVB Chinese and English TVB, and a program host for Radio Television Hong Kong.

Mo later turned to politics, joining the Citizens’ Party and being elected to the Legislative Council.

After being re-elected in 2016, Mo left the CDP and continued working in the Legislative Council as a founding member of HK First.

In 2020, Mo ran for re-election in the pro-democracy primary.

However, the government has accused everyone involved in the primary of violating Hong Kong’s national security law. Mo and his 56 other pro-democracy figures and activists were arrested during a police raid in January 2021.

On February 28, 2021, Mo and 46 others were indicted for “conspiracy to subvert state power” under the National Security Law.

Several arrested persons were released on bail, but Mo remained in custody.

Mo later applied for bail in the High Court. Still, National Security Act-appointed Judge Esther Toe Libin denied her, arguing she would continue to endanger national security if Moe was released.