U.S. Hearing Calls for Continued Attention to Human Rights in Hong Kong

【Japan Himalaya League】 Author: 子辰  Translator: Ranting

At a recent hearing, senior Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Smith said the United States should take a new look at the deteriorating human rights situation in Hong Kong and not let tyranny kill the flame of freedom for the people of Hong Kong.

This hearing was held at the U.S. House of Representatives Lantos Human Rights Committee. Attended by human rights and democracy advocates and media practitioners from the United States, Canada and Hong Kong, testimony was given on the deterioration of civil and political rights in Hong Kong, the erosion of press freedom, the media shutdown, the decline of judicial independence, the silencing of the opposition and restrictions on freedom of religious belief.

Rep. Smith, co-chair of the committee, said the U.S. government should make human rights a part of its foreign policy and link trade to human rights to check China.

He called for solidarity with the oppressed, not complicity with the oppressors, and especially for the media to have a voice.

Michael C. Davis, a former law professor at the University of Hong Kong, said at the hearing that sanctions against the authoritarian regime of the Chinese Communist Party should not stop at naming and shaming, but should link trade and business interests to human rights practices and include human rights in foreign policy.

He said the CCP uses the passage of anti-sanctions laws to resist sanctions and fight back. We should create an incentive to reflect our values. Because “human rights” is our core value, can we put it in the law. Make it part of our foreign policy so that it is not just a political statement, but that it becomes an act that can influence business.

(Picture Source: Internet.)

Joanna Chiu, a reporter for Canada’s Toronto Star who was born in Hong Kong and entered the interior of the Communist China a decade ago to work as a journalist, told the hearing that she fears for her personal safety in the Communist China because the CCP government will not recognize her Canadian citizenship if she is detained by authorities. She said the national security law has sent chills down her back in Hong Kong, her former home.

At the hearing, former Hong Kong Democratic Commission Director Zhu Mumin said that the University of Hong Kong’s request to remove the “Pillar of National Mourning”, which has been standing on the campus for 24 years, illustrates how serious the crackdown is. He said that the “Pillar of Shame” is the only remaining sculpture on Chinese soil that publicly commemorates June 4. Zhu Mumin called on the University to understand the vital importance of freedom of thought, speech, expression and research. Former Hong Kong legislator and former Hong Kong Democratic Party Chairman Albert Ho said in 2008 that any attempt to remove the June Fourth sculpture symbolizes a complete denial of freedom of speech and expression on university campuses.

In addition, according to information released by the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department in August this year, Hong Kong’s population has fallen by 1.2% since the introduction of the National Security Law last year, compared to mid-2020, and 89,200 Hong Kong residents have chosen to leave Hong Kong permanently in the past year.

Post Script: This article only represents the view of the author.

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Posted by: Ranting

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