Speaking at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club on 14 August 2018, shortly before his political party was banned, Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) spokesperson Andy Chan pointedly drew parallels between developments in Hong Kong and those in East Turkestan [Xinjiang] and Tibet. That comparison smacks of hyperbole. As the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office noted in its latest six-monthly report on Hong Kong, the territory “continues to be a prosperous and vibrant city” – a world away from the concentration camps of Xinjiang. Nor is Chan – who previously declared armed insurrection a possible way forward for his party – a particularly compelling advocate.
The notion that national security will one day be invoked to silence dissent comes as no surprise to hardened Hong Kongers. Commentators, academics and filmmakers have long prophesied that doomsday scenario. The writing has been on the wall for years, and the arrival of an anti-subversion law is a matter of when, not if. We just didn’t think it would happen so soon, at least not before the return of Article 23 that the city has fought so hard to keep at bay. But that day is now upon us.
More than 60 groups signed a petition criticizing the government's abuse of freedom of association by proposing to ban the Hong Kong National Party. Assistant Societies Officer Rebecca Lam Hiu-tung, who is also assistant police commissioner, had recommended that Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu prohibit the pro-independence party from continuing to operate.
Multiple civic groups and student unions expressed strong concerns over the government’s proposed ban on the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), saying the planned clampdown amounts to curbing free speech and other constitutional rights. A demonstration has been called for Saturday to voice the feelings of various groups that are opposed to the administration’s plans, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Liberal lawyers’ group voices concern over attempt to shut down party on national security grounds, when it has not resorted to violence
自2015年7月爆發轟動全球的「709大抓捕」起，中國政府打壓維權律師的行動已持續近三年。雖已接近尾聲，但打壓行動並未停止，而是從「刑事抓捕」轉變為更為隱秘的「行政懲戒」——即直接吊銷或註銷維權律師的執業證，剝奪維權律師的執業權。據我們觀察，在最近8個月內，全中國已有17名維權律師及3間事務所陸續被吊銷或註銷執業證。對此，我們表示強烈譴責，並認為，中國政府的做法已嚴重違反中國憲法、律師法及國際法有關尊重和保障律師執業權利及公民權利的國家義務，中國政府應當立即無條件撤銷對受影響律師作出的吊銷或註銷執業證的各項決定，並停止對維權律師群體的一切管控和打壓 (The Chinese government has continued its repression against human rights lawyers for almost 3 years since the start of the sensational and unprecedented “709 Crackdown” in July 2015. While the crackdown has seemingly come to an end, the suppression has not yet ceased. Apart from the manoeuvre of criminal detention, the Chinese government has now resorted to a subtler form of repression, administrative penalty, which involves revocation or invalidation of lawyers’ legal practice licenses, thus depriving them of their right to practice law).
Thirty-eight civil society groups (including the Progressive Lawyers Group) and political parties have urged the Hong Kong government to withdraw a national anthem bill, arguing that it violates citizens’ rights to fundamental freedoms.
The Centre for Comparative and Public Law at The University of Hong Kong, along with Progressive Lawyers Group, Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor and Hong Kong Unison, coordinated a Joint Submission of 53 NGOs in Hong Kong to the UN Human Rights Council as part of the Council’s third cycle of its Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
香港人權狀況每況愈下，Justice Centre Hong Kong等共45個公民團體（包括法政匯思）向聯合國提交意見書，以引起國際社會關注，促使港府改善香港人權狀況，以保「亞洲國際都會」聲譽。(Civil groups are voicing out their concern with the increasing erosion of fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong. Under the leadership of Justice Centre Hong Kong, 45 (including the Progressive Lawyers Group) have joined hands together in a submission to the United Nations, holding the Hong Kong government accountable to its human rights commitments.)
法政匯思對於政府任意妄為地利用選舉規例，並以某些參選人的政治聯繫及政治立場為由取消其資格感到非常擔憂。該決定踐踏了香港永久性居民參與選舉、投票和自由言論的基本權利。我們強烈呼籲政府確保任何有關參選人提名的決定，都能夠切實有效地保障這些基本權利。(PLG is gravely concerned by the capricious use of electoral regulations to disqualify certain candidates on the basis of their political affiliations and political stance. The Decision has trampled on the fundamental rights of Hong Kong permanent residents to stand for election, to vote, and to engage in free speech. We strongly call upon the Government to ensure that any decision regarding the nomination of candidates gives real and effective protection to such fundamental rights.)
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has asked that the government refrain from imposing medical requirements in a new gender recognition law, calling for a progressive model that respects the rights of transgender people.
Progressive Lawyers Group member Jason Y. Ng's one-on-one interview with Italian national newspaper "La Repubblica" on Liu Xiaobo's death and its impact on Hong Kong (in Italian).
今日是劉曉波先生逝世後的「頭七」，劉曉波生前好友發起今晚8時全球公祭活動。法政匯思今晚出席了香港支聯會在金鐘添馬公園舉行的劉曉波頭七追思會。 (Supporters of Mr. Liu Xiabo will hold a series of global memorials today, the seventh day since his death and a highly symbolic day of mourning in Chinese tradition. Progressive Lawyers Group members attended the memorial in Tamar Park, Hong Kong tonight.)
(The Guardian) On Thursday evening, Chinese dissident and political prisoner Liu Xiaobo died from liver cancer in a Shenyang Hospital. Liu was, as the Western press sharply pointed out, the first Nobel Peace Prize laureate to die in custody since Carl von Ossietzky did in Nazi Germany in 1938. Supporters the world over mourned the death of a man who lived and died a hero. The only crime he ever committed was penning a proposal that maps out a bloodless path for his country to democratise.