Senator Ngo condemns the Hong Kong government’s mass arrests of pro-democracy legislators
[For immediate release]- February 10, 2021
Today, Senator Thanh Hai Ngo issued the following Statement in response to the mass arrest of over 53 elected, pro-democracy lawmakers and activists on January 6, 2021 by Hong Kong police:
Under the auspices of China’s draconian National Security Law imposed on Hong Kong, this latest crackdown constitutes the most aggressive attack to date, on freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Allegations of ‘preventing the government from functioning’ was the primary justification for arresting these opposition lawmakers after their legitimate attempts to hold a primary election. This is the second time the Hong Kong government has quashed opposition in the island’s political institutions at the behest of the Chinese communist regime: the first being at the end of July, when several pro-democracy legislators were effectively barred from running in the upcoming September Legislative Council elections. Although 52 out of the 53 lawmakers have been released on bail, they are still very much in danger as they have been prohibited from leaving Hong Kong and can be charged at any moment. The aggression continued on January 14th, when Daniel Wong Kwok-tung, the reputed Chinese lawyer who represents several arrested pro-democracy activists, was also arrested and taken into custody by national security forces.
On January 21, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of democratically elected opposition lawmakers and activists (as well as all those previously detained) under the ‘subversion’ provision of the National Security Law imposed by Beijing.
The Canadian government has a duty to protect the estimated 300,000 Canadians currently living in Hong Kong. It is also our moral obligation to continue to defend human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, including the people of Hong Kong. I commend the Canadian government for granting political asylum to 14 Hong Kong dissidents, but more still needs to be done. The ongoing and reprehensible violations of human rights, in stark defiance of the global order, must not go unsanctioned. I therefore reiterate my calls for the government to impose Magnitsky sanctions against Chinese and/or Hong Kong officials responsible for or complicit in these abuses.
I urge the Canadian government and all our allies to uphold the international rules-based order by condemning the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities’ breach of the Sino-British joint declaration. A request to the United Nations to appoint a Special Rapporteur and/or Special Envoy to investigate the situation in Hong Kong would also help shed light on the extent of this dangerous assault on democracy and universally held civil and political rights.
For more information, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Thanh Hai Ngo