US accuses Hong Kong democratic activists of sentencing and calls for “political motivation”


The U.S. State Department and the Chinese Parliamentary Executive Committee (CECC) condemned the recent rulings and imprisonment of several Hong Kong democratic activists on Friday, saying the indictment reflects political motives and diminished rights and freedoms in the city. Stated.

A total of 10 Hong Kong democratic activists were sentenced and suspended on Friday for participating in two “unlicensed” protests in Hong Kong in August 2019. A bill that would allow the Chinese administration to expel people from Hong Kong, which should have autonomy. The bill was withdrawn in September 2019.

On August 18, 2019, nine defendants were charged with participating in an “unauthorized” mass protest. The protest opposed police orders that an estimated 1.7 million people participated in a peaceful procession and continued to protest at stationery rallies near the city center. .. Two defendants (Leung Kwok and Au Nok-hin) pleaded guilty, and the other seven (Martin Lee, Jimmy Lai, Albert Ho, Margaret Ng, Sid Ho, Martin Lee and Leung Kwok) pleaded not guilty. ..

In another protest on August 31, 2019, hundreds of thousands of people opposed a total police ban on protests and ignored the organizer’s cancellation of the event. Lai, Lee Chu Kyang, and Yong Sam were convicted of attending the event. All three pleaded guilty, but claimed they did nothing wrong.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States “condemns the decisions of seven leaders who support democratization in politically motivated prosecutions.”In him statementBlinken protested seven people acquitted in the proceedings of August 18, 2019, stating that their ruling was “incompatible with the non-violent nature of their actions.”

“Beijing and Hong Kong authorities are targeting Hongkongers solely for the purpose of exercising protected rights and fundamental freedoms, such as peaceful freedom of assembly and freedom of speech,” he said. “Today’s ruling is about how Chinese and Hong Kong authorities undermine the protected rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Basic Law and the Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration to eliminate all forms of objection. Yet another example. “

Hong Kong was handed over from British colonial rule to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, and under the Joint Declaration of China and Britain, Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and essential freedom was maintained under the principle of “one country, two systems”. There was a clear guarantee that it would be. 2047.

Blinken said the Declaration was binding and should guarantee the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.

“We will continue to stand with Hong Kongers in response to Beijing’s attack on these freedoms and autonomy and will not stop seeking the release of those detained or imprisoned for exercising their basic freedoms.” Blinken said.

CECC Chair and Co-Chair Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) And James P. McGavan (D-Mass.) Condemned all 10 Hong Kong democratic activists.

“The conviction should be condemned by all who work to restore Hong Kong’s autonomy and human rights,” they said in a statement on Friday. “These are clearly political charges.”

They said democratic activists were “selected and targeted by law enforcement agencies in Hong Kong for participating in a peaceful march.”

“Few people predicted that one day there would be political prisoners in Hong Kong, but sadly they are now under even stricter national security laws. Guaranteed by international treaties. Hong Kong’s democratic freedom continues to be assaulted. “

“The signal sent today should have a serious impact on the relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. We are ready to legislate for the people of Hong Kong and to the Biden administration and the international community in Hong Kong. I urge the person responsible for the political prosecution to take responsibility, “they write.

Members of Congress, including Senator Ted Cruz (Republican) and Marco Rubio (Republican), and Congressman Nancy Pelosi (Democrat) have also blamed the situation.

On Twitter, Cruz called the ruling “serious injustice.” He expressed his support for Lai, the founder of the democracy-supporting newspaper Apple Daily, and for all those who support Hong Kong’s freedom and democracy. “I am determined to ensure that they are released and illegally imprisoned. [Lai] You will be held liable. “

Rubio on Twitter called the democratic activist’s ruling “a further attack on freedom and democracy everywhere.”

“The free world must unite to blame #Beijing for this tragedy of justice and hold it accountable,” he writes.

Pelosi called the case “another sign of Beijing’s attack on the rule of law,” and said he was “sad and confused” when he saw people sentenced for free and peaceful protests. ..

“Parliament continues to focus on legislative and diplomatic efforts, including allies to make China accountable and support Hong Kong’s efforts to maintain and grow the rule of law and freedom of speech.” Peroshi wrote.