Submission to the U.N. Human Rights Council on China

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 6, 2023) — Having recently made a submission, which focused on the situation in Hong Kong, to the United Nations (U.N.) Human Rights Council for Universal Periodic Review on China this year, HKDC issues the following statements.
From HKDC’s Executive Director, Anna Kwok: “Completed ahead of the July 18 deadline, our submission highlighted four main areas of concern: the freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, the freedom of association, and the right to political participation. We asked that the U.N. urge Hong Kong authorities — among our 11 recommendations — to release all political prisoners immediately, revoke the National Security Law, repeal provisions in the Public Order Ordinance that restrict assembly, abolish ‘patriotic’ electoral reforms, and respect international human rights standards to safeguard promised freedoms to Hong Kongers.” “We call upon member states to confront Beijing’s utter failure to fulfill its responsibilities outlined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a binding international agreement registered at the U.N. on May 27, 1985. Reporting done not only by the HKDC team but also by our allies from other nonprofit organizations this cycle documents that reality. Should conditions continue to deteriorate, we must further remind the global community that the ‘principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples,’ once denied to Hong Kongers, should never be empty rhetoric; rather, it’s a bedrock U.N. principle enshrined in numerous documents, including the founding charter itself, that demands concrete, collective action to reaffirm.” 
From HKDC’s International Advocacy and Program Associate, Carmen Lau: “Through a comprehensive, data-driven analysis, our submission revealed the systematic erosion of freedoms in Hong Kong. Events during the anti-extradition protests of 2019 and the subsequent enactment of the National Security Law in 2020 resulted in a myriad of abuses affecting every Hong Konger. Against the bleak backdrop of news outlets stifled and censored in Hong Kong, HKDC’s 81-page account revealed what Hong Kongers no longer have the space to say: ‘National security’ is no more than an authoritarian scam.”
 “As a former District Council member, I’ve experienced the crackdown firsthand. Neither the very elections that made me a representative in the first place, nor free and fair ballot access to the constituents who once voted for me, are lawful anymore in 2023. And now, as a human-rights campaigner abroad, I’m filled with sorrow and outrage by everyday reminders: the colleagues on the list of current political prisoners; the groups and parties with which I collaborated but that no longer exist; the friends on the receiving end of transnational repression and bounty hunting. The world mustn’t forget about Hong Kong.”

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