Arrests of 53 pro-democrats and threats to HK voters amounts to State torture and genocide
Let us begin with a significant quote:
孫中山博士的話 Dr Sun Yat-sen quote
"The government should train and direct the people in their acquisition of political knowledge and ability, thereby enabling them to exercise the powers of election, recall, initiative, and referendum."
HK people under the Joint Declaration and UN obligations have freedoms including holding and participating in elections. Under United Nations (UN) treaties CAT the actions of CCP and HK government in arbitarily arresting 53 pro-democrats amounts to 'torture', and under the 'Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide' to genocide. HK protesters request the full support of all democratic nations to uphold the Joint Declaration and all other treaties applicable to HK.
CCP please answer the following UN letters sent to you:
Under our UN human rights, HK people have the right to hold elections: we note Mandates of the UN Special Rapporteur 28 June 2019 sent to China (bold format added):
"In this connection, we would like to refer to Human Rights Council resolution 24/5, and in particular operative paragraph 2 that “reminds States of their obligation to respect and fully protect the rights of all individuals to assemble peacefully and associate freely, online as well as offline, including in the context of elections, and including persons espousing minority or dissenting views or beliefs, human rights defenders, trade unionists and others, including migrants, seeking to exercise or to promote these rights, and to take all necessary measures to ensure that any restrictions on the free exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are in accordance with their obligations under international human rights law.”
Our suggested method to resolve the current HK political crisis is by inviting all HK Permanent Residents 18 years old and above to participate in a referendum held in HK using the “Modified Borda Count” (MBC), a preferential multi-option voting system, offering 5 options which will be ranked by each voter according to their preferences. If necessary, this could be a UN mandated referendum.
An MBC referendum is credible. It could define the will of HK people and as such would be a realistic means to negate the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) breaches of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong (“Joint Declaration”) therefore allowing this international treaty to continue.
With Hong Kong arrests, China outlaws democracy itself
On Jan. 6, Hong Kong authorities arrested more than 50 pro-democracy activists and politicians who participated in primary elections last year, charging them with "subverting state power" under the national security law that China forced on the city last year.
The big picture: The arrests indicate Chinese Communist Party leaders see any form of true participatory government as an illegitimate subversion of their power.
The arrests also suggest Beijing believes it will face no meaningful resistance from western countries. China enters 2021 as the only major economy that experienced significant growth in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Details of the CCP's latest blunder in their SAR: On Wednesday morning, a thousand Hong Kong police fanned out around the city, swarming 72 locations and eventually rounding up at least 53 pro-democracy activists and politicians, police said.
Most of those arrested, including former political candidates Tiffany Yuen, Gwyneth Ho, Alvin Yeung, Fergus Leung and Ventus Lau, had participated in unofficial primaries held in advance of the legislative elections originally slated for fall 2020 but canceled by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who cited the coronavirus pandemic as a pretext.
Among the detained is John Clancey, an American lawyer who serves as the Hong Kong-based chairman of the Asian Human Rights Commission, and the first known foreign citizen without a Hong Kong passport to be arrested in Hong Kong under the auspices of the national security law.
Police also searched the premises of three Hong Kong news outlets and demanded they turn over information.
What the Hong Kong authorities are saying: "The operation today targets the active elements who are suspected to be involved in the crime of overthrowing, or interfering (and) seriously destroy the Hong Kong government's legal execution of duties," said Hong Kong security minister John Lee in a press conference.
What's next?: The national security law prescribes harsh punishments for offenders, including prison terms of up to 10 years or life in prison for those deemed the worst offenders.
The law also allows defendants to be transported to mainland China and tried in its courts, which are fully under the political control of the Chinese Communist Party.
Numerous questions arise including a) whether the arrests made will lead to actual criminal charges being laid, b) whether those charged will be granted bail or incarcerated until a later trial...also c) whether such a trial might occur in Hong Kong or in a mainland court.
So far, China has subjugated Hong Kong with near impunity. Condemnations of the arrests poured in on Wednesday, as the European Union, Germany, and U.S. leaders called on China to respect rights in Hong Kong.
But while western leaders have frequently criticized China's actions in Hong Kong over the past year, few have taken substantive action.
The U.S. has levied sanctions on some top Hong Kong and Chinese government officials involved in the political crackdown and downgraded the city's special economic status. Britain, the city's former colonizer, has opened its borders to Hong Kong residents who wish to resettle there.
But there have been no sweeping sanctions, China has faced no lasting diplomatic repercussions and has not been sidelined in any international organizations.
Last week, the EU even agreed to an investment deal with China, in a move widely seen as a major geopolitical win for Beijing just weeks before the Biden administration takes up the mantle of U.S. leadership. (see our blog: Are five eyes better than two minds?)
What to watch: The home of protest leader Joshua Wong, who is currently serving time in prison for organizing an "illegal assembly" last year, was also raided — suggesting that the prominent activist may soon face further charges.
The bottom line: With these arrests, Beijing demonstrated that what the national security law prohibits is democracy itself.
53 people including Benny Tai of Occupy Central arrested for subversion in ‘purge of democracy voices’
Apple Daily 6 January 2021 (format added)
Some 53 former lawmakers and activists of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp were arrested on Wednesday morning for subversion under national security laws, in relation to unofficial primary polls held last year to select candidates for a legislative election.
The sweeping operation began from as early as 6 a.m., when national security police started rounding up targets including moderate pan-democratic figures.
Under arrest were Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai; former lawmakers Wu Chi-wai, James To, Andrew Wan, Lam Cheuk-ting, Au Nok-hin, Roy Kwong and Helena Wong of the Democratic Party; Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki and Jeremy Tam of the Civic Party; and “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung and Jimmy Sham from the League of Social Democrats, according to media reports and some of the detainees’ Facebook pages.
Ex-lawmakers Gary Fan, Claudia Mo, Eddie Chu and Raymond Chan were also taken away, as was district councilor Lester Shum.
The pan-democratic bloc organized the primary contest last summer to narrow down its list of hopefuls for a Legislative Council election slated for September of the same year. The government later delayed the election indefinitely on purported COVID-19 concerns.
Tai, a legal scholar previously with the University of Hong Kong, had drawn up a “35-plus” strategy that formed the basis of the primary, in order to maximize the camp’s chances of winning a majority share of the 70 legislative seats. Most of those detained on Wednesday had organized or taken part in the contest.
In their operation, the police alleged that the arrested people had responded to Tai’s call with the aims of vetoing the government’s annual budget through the legislature and of compelling the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam. They were suspected of subverting state power under the national security law.
Officers on Wednesday also asked academics Dr Robert Chung and Dr Chung Kim-wah to help with investigations. Both were veteran pollsters at the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute [PORI] and had been involved in the primary polling. The former’s residence was searched, while the latter received a call from law enforcement and was due to visit a police station on Thursday.
Chung Kim-wah told Apple Daily over the phone that the mass arrests were “ridiculous.” The police were intending to use all ways and means to “destroy civil society” and threaten every Hongkonger who supported the pan-democratic camp, he said.
All the election aspirants who participated in the primary merely promised to respect the results of the voting, he said. They were not requested to follow Tai’s initiative concerning “10 steps for mutual destruction.”
Chung Kim-wah questioned if the police were also trying to threaten those who voted in the poll and to deter them from joining similar activities in the future. He emphasized that people should not get worried as the institute had since deleted all polling data.
Ronny Tong SC, who as an executive councilor was part of Lam’s de facto cabinet, said he could not see how holding a primary contest to choose candidates could violate the national security law. He added, though, that it was uncertain whether certain activities were suspected of being illegal, such as funding arrangements for the race.
Even if a candidate who was selected from the primary later won the legislative election and went on to vote down government plans, the veto action in itself should not be considered to have achieved the purpose of subverting the Hong Kong administration as the power to veto was a right granted to all lawmakers, Tong said.
That was, unless the lawmaker used the veto power to block all the government’s funding proposals and paralyze its operations, which could amount to serious interference in the work of the government, the barrister added.
Meanwhile, a pro-democracy activist in self-exile overseas and a human rights writer from mainland China described the police’s mass operation as the Hong Kong version of the Formosa Incident in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and the “709 crackdown” in mainland China.
Sunny Cheung said that it was a “clearance action across parties and across the political spectrum.” The activist cited the arrest of fellow primary participant Jeffrey Andrews, a social worker and a member of an ethnic minority group who had joined the contest as an independent candidate.
The authorities were seeking to get rid of everyone from the pro-democracy camp, and to limit their freedom to enter or leave Hong Kong and their freedom of speech, Cheung said.
The regime wanted to crack down on everybody, from organizers to participants of the pro-democracy camp in Hong Kong, mainland Chinese human rights journalist and writer Zhao Sile said.
Zhao said Wednesday’s mass arrests were similar to the crackdown in China that seized around 300 human rights lawyers and activists starting from July 9, 2015.
The authorities’ modus operandi was to send out warnings by making mass arrests and prosecuting those who resisted, to create an atmosphere of horror, she said. They would then scale down the scope to prosecute the core members.
Given that the police were zooming in on the “35 plus” strategy drafted by Tai and arresting people for alleged subversion under the national security law, the regime’s intention was to brand Tai as the mastermind with the others as participants, Zhao added.
She believed that the authorities would not charge all the 53 people arrested, and would instead focus on Tai and a few others who organized the primary.
According to Hong Kong’s national security law, a person who is a principal offender or who commits an offense of a grave nature shall be sentenced to life imprisonment or fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years.
Click here for Chinese version
HKFP 7 January 2021 'UK says Hong Kong mass arrests are a ‘grievous attack’ on rights and freedoms'
RTHK 6 January 2021 'World must speak out over brutal destruction of HK'
RTHK 6 January 2021 'EU, UK urge release of Hong Kong opposition figures'
HKFP 6 January 2021 'In full: Complete list of national security arrests connected to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy primary elections'