Sunday, August 7, 2022

US house committee expresses ‘deep concerns’ on arrest of HK activists

Expressing ‘deep concern’ over arrest warrants under Hong Kong’s draconian national security law for several democracy activists, US House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Friday (local time) said this action further undermines China’s credibility as a rule-abiding member of the international community.

Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations in a statement said: “We are deeply concerned by today’s announcement that China has issued arrest warrants under Hong Kong’s new national security law for several noted democracy activists, including an extraterritorial warrant for the arrest of an individual who has been a United States citizen for over two decades.”

“This action only further undermines the credibility of China as a responsible rule-abiding member of the international community. If Beijing thinks that this effort will silence those who stand for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, it is gravely mistaken: today we are all Hong Kongers,” they said in the statement.

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Continuing with the ruthless suppression of the dissenting voices in the erstwhile British colony, six people including activist Nathan Law Kwun-chung and former British consulate employee Simon Cheng Man-kit are being sought by Hong Kong police on suspicion of breaking the new draconian national security law, reported South China Morning Post.

The draconian law is aimed at crushing dissent in the erstwhile British colony which saw massive pro-democracy protests last year.

The legislation, which came into effect ahead of July 1 punishes what Beijing terms secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference with up to life in prison.

South China Morning Post citing a police source reported that the pair, who along with two of the others – independence activists Ray Wong Toi-yeung and Lau Hong – are currently in Britain, have been accused of inciting secession and collusion with foreign and external forces to endanger national security, according to a police source.

Reacting to the development, Nathan Law said he was clueless about what offences he might have committed. He also stated that he would sever his ties with his family.

US-based Samuel Chu of the Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC) and Wayne Chan Ka-kui, previously reported to be in Amsterdam were also listed out as suspects.

“The Hong Kong police is issuing an arrest warrant against an American citizen for advocating and lobbying my own government,” Chu, a US citizen said in a statement.

Several countries have suspended their extradition agreements with Hong Kong in the wake of imposition of the controversial security law.

Germany has decided to suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, Foreign Minister, Heiko Mass, said on Friday (local time) after the erstwhile British colony decided to postpone legislative council elections.

China earlier announced the suspension of Hong Kong’s extradition treaties with Canada, Australia and Britain after the three countries announced similar decisions in protest to controversial new security law.

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