Britain accuses China after Hong Kong police threaten to imprison British rights activists

Britain has criticized Beijing and Hong Kong authorities for threatening UK-based human rights groups and called such actions “injustice.”

Hong Kong Watch, an NGO that monitors the human rights situation of the former British colony, said in a statement on March 14 that the website may have violated the state, “received a formal warning from the Hong Kong Police Force’s National Security Agency. “. Security law.

Hong Kong police blame groups threatening China’s national security and could face a fine of HK $ 100,000 (US $ 12,772), or Benedict Rogers CEO sentenced to three years in prison Warned that he might face.

Benedict Rogers
Campaigner Benedictrogers will speak at a democracy rally in Hong Kong on June 12, 2021 at Trafalgar Square in London. (Laurel Chor / Getty Images)

Britain’s Foreign Minister Liz Truss said in a statement: “The unjust actions taken against the UK-based NGO Hong Kong Watch are clearly an attempt to silence those who defend Hong Kong’s human rights.

“The Government of China and the Hong Kong authorities must respect the universal right to freedom of speech and uphold that right in Hong Kong in accordance with international commitments, including the Joint Declaration.

“It is unacceptable to try to silence the voice of freedom and democracy worldwide and it will never succeed.”

In a letter to Rogers, the Hong Kong Police Force’s National Security Agency lobbied the rights group abroad to “impose sanctions and blockades and engage in other hostile activities” against Chinese and Hong Kong authorities. I was active. ” It disrupts the formulation and implementation of laws and policies. “

It accused Hong Kong Watch of violating Article 29 of the National Security Act, which criminalizes collusion with foreign troops to endanger national security.

In that letter, Hong Kong police also confirmed that they were using National Security Act to block the Hong Kong Watch website in Hong Kong.

In response, Rogers said in a statement, “Hong Kong’s national security law is very high by threatening Hong Kong-based NGOs to set up fines and prisons just for reporting the human rights situation in Hong Kong. It exemplifies why it is dangerous. “

He said Hong Kong Watch “will not be silent” and “will continue to be the voice for the people of Hong Kong and the brave political prisoners imprisoned under this authoritarian regime.”

Chris Patten, Hong Kong’s last British Governor and Hong Kong Watch Patron, said: [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s friends in Beijing and their quarrel in Hong Kong seek to not only counteract the freedom of expression and information in Hong Kong, but also internationalize their campaign for evidence, freedom and honesty. “

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a former Conservative leader, said: wherever. “

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan