28 February 2022
Hong Kong activists call for the release of 47 pro-democracy leaders on the 1st anniversary of their arrests
A year ago on February 28th, 47 pro-democracy candidates and organizers of the “35+” democratic primaries were formally charged by the Hong Kong government with “inciting subversion of state power” under the draconian National Security Law and have been detained since. On the 1st anniversary marking their arrests, Hong Kong Watch gathered prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activists overseas to issue a joint statement calling for their immediate release. They also called on the international community, including the UK, which continues to have a legal, moral, and historic obligation to the people of Hong Kong, to condemn these political show trials and to utilize the financial and political leverage it has over Hong Kong and Chinese officials to secure the release of the 47.
Hong Kong activists call for the release of 47 pro-democracy leaders Today marks the one-year anniversary of the arrest of 47 pro-democracy activists and leaders in Hong Kong under the draconian National Security Law.
We the undersigned, representing prominent pro-democracy activists in exile, call on the international community to solemnly mark this anniversary by reiterating calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Hong Kong, including these brave activists.
The absurd and unjust charges of “subversion” brought against our friends and colleagues for the supposed “crime” of organizing free and democratic elections previously guaranteed under Hong Kong’s Basic Law, reflects the deteriorating human rights situation in Hong Kong and China’s abandonment of its legal commitments to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy.
Many of these brave activists have been languishing in prison for nearly two years without bail while they await trial. We believe these blanket denials of bail are compromising Hong Kong’s common law legal system which relies on the presumption of innocence, and is creating a system of widespread arbitrary detention.
We call on like-minded democratic partners, including the UK, which continues to have a legal, moral, and historic obligation to the people of Hong Kong, to condemn these political show trials and to utilize the financial and political leverage it has over Hong Kong and Chinese officials to secure the release of the 47.
Good conscience, shared values, and even self-interest, dictates that democratic world should not abandon or forget these brave activists on the anniversary of their arrest.
Ted HUI Joey SIU Ray WONG Jeffrey NGO Nathan LAW Sunny CHEUNG Alex CHOW Glacier KWONG Finn LAU Carmen LAU Ka-wai LEE Baggio LEUNG Brian LEUNG Joe TAY