Tag Archives: Hong Kong

Iran/Hong Kong: In Pictures – Activists ‘flash mob’ Iranian concert to protest jailing of rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh

March 25, 2019

A Hong Kong concert organised by the Iranian Consulate on Monday evening was met with protesters who decried the jailing of human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh.

Nasrin Sotoudeh iran protest

Around 20 activists staged a silent protest at the City Hall foyer in Central at around 7:45pm, just before the start of a concert titled “Songs of Persia.”

Venue staff did not intervene, as the protesters revealed black t-shirts stating “Free Nasrin Sotoudeh”

The event was presented by the Iranian Consulate as part of a week-long cultural celebration.

Last June, Sotoudeh was arrested and charged with spying, spreading propaganda and insulting Iran’s supreme leader.

Sotoudeh, who has argued in favour of women’s rights and opposed the death penalty, was given a 38-year jail sentence on March 11. She was also sentenced to receive 148 lashes.



https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/iran-free-nasrin-satoudeh-now/ (SIGN THE PETITION!)

https://www.change.org/p/mehdi-amini-free-nasrin-sotoudeh-now?recruiter=848525859&utm_source=share_sponsor_thank_you&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_twitter_responsive&utm_term=psf_combo_share_initial.pacific_post_sap_share_gmail_abi.gmail_abi&recruited_by_id=29233110-f5d9-11e7-a4f4-4565933534d3 (SIGN THE PETITION!)

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/iran-hong-kong-in-pictures-activists-flash-mob-iranian-concert-to-protest-jailing-of-rights-lawyer-nasrin-sotoudeh/ (ENGLISH/FARSI)

https://actu.fr/normandie/val-de-reuil_27701/amnesty-international-donne-rendez-vous-val-reuil-foire-livres_22241868.html (FRANCAIS)

https://le-peuple.ca/societe/article-4902-1553250781 (FRANCAIS)

http://www.elle.fr/Societe/News/Nasrin-Sotoudeh-indignation-planetaire-apres-la-condamnation-de-l-avocate-iranienne-3784230 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.change.org/p/lib%C3%A9rez-l-avocate-iranienne-nasrin-sotoudeh-freenasrin (SIGNEZ LA PETITION!)

https://contrainformacion.es/abogada-irani-condenada-a-38-anos-de-carcel-y-a-recibir-148-latigazos-por-defender-la-libertad-de-las-mujeres/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.barilive.it/news/attualita/799519/ordine-degli-avvocati-solidale-con-sotoudeh-melini-litalia-e-lue-facciano-la-loro-parte (ITALIANO)

http://espresso.repubblica.it/opinioni/l-antitaliano/2019/03/21/news/nasrin-sotoudeh-saviano-1.332877 (ITALIANO)

https://www.catanzaroinforma.it/notizia123897/L-avvocato-Sotoudeh-agli-arresti-si-mobilita-anche-il-Comune.html (ITALIANO)

https://news.mingpao.com/pns/%E6%B8%AF%E8%81%9E/article/20190326/s00002/1553538197316/%E9%9F%B3%E6%A8%82%E6%9C%83%E5%A4%96%E9%9D%9C%E9%BB%98-%E8%81%B2%E6%8F%B4%E4%BC%8A%E6%9C%97%E8%A2%AB%E5%9B%9A%E7%B6%AD%E6%AC%8A%E5%BE%8B%E5%B8%AB (CANTONESE)

https://hk.news.appledaily.com/local/realtime/article/20190325/59411230 (CANTONESE)

Image may contain: Reza Khandan, text and closeup

Image may contain: Reza Khandan, text

Hong Kong/China: Bar Association head Philip Dykes seeks ‘better understanding’ between Hong Kong and mainland lawyers

January 13, 2019

Philip Dykes

The head of Hong Kong’s professional body of lawyers has vowed to continue engaging with their mainland Chinese counterparts, despite warning signs that such efforts may not be entirely welcome.

Chairman of the city’s Bar Association Philip Dykes said that he hopes to raise the city’s legal profile internationally, as well as foster “better understanding” between local and mainland lawyers.

“We are not trying to proselytise,” he told HKFP in an interview. “We are two completely different systems… We are just trying to understand what the differences are, so as to better understand one another.”

However, questions remain about whether the body – which some say has grown more critical of the government under Dykes’s leadership – has soured its relationship with Beijing.

Dykes had previously said he had no problem getting along with China. That statement may soon be put to the test: by tradition, Hong Kong’s barristers are invited to visit Beijing every year, or every other year.

No such invitation was extended in 2018, and it remains to be seen if either side will make overtures.

‘Not conducive to confidence’

Over the past year, the Bar Association has issued statements against the joint checkpoint at the high-speed rail terminusscreening of election candidatespersonal attacks against judges, the expulsion of Victor Mallet, and the Chinese government’s treatment of human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang.

“The Bar Association will not be silent on a major issue just for fear that it antagonises someone,” Dykes said.

Tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing lawyers came to a head in August, after Peking University stopped two barristers from teaching a course on common law. Dykes was also disinvited from the course’s graduation ceremony in Beijing.




Hong Kong/China: As Hong Kong tightens screws on rebellion, democracy moves further out of reach

January 2, 2019

Baptist minister Chu Yiu-ming, 74, law professor Benny Tai, 54, and sociology professor Chan Kin-man, 59, shout slogans with supporters before entering the West Kowloon Magistrates Court in Hong Kong on November 19, 2018.

“If this is the cup I must take, I will drink with no regret.”


Benny Tai was defiant and emotional as he faced the court. Outside, he and his fellow defendants raised their fists and supporters displayed yellow umbrellas, the symbol of Hong Kong’s beleaguered pro-democracy movement.
That movement is looking shakier than ever, as Tai and others begin the new year facing possible jail time — up to seven years in prison — for their roles in inspiring the 2014 Umbrella Movement, when tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the semi-autonomous Chinese city demanding elections free of Beijing’s interference.
Several thousand people — including former Umbrella leaders — took part in a traditional New Year’s march Tuesday, warning of “shrinking freedoms” and issuing a call for greater democracy. They were joined by a small group of pro-independence demonstrators, some of whom said they faced harassment and intimidation ahead of the gathering.
On Wednesday, a spokesman for the Hong Kong government reiterated “its zero tolerance on ‘Hong Kong independence’.”
Police and organizers estimated the crowd to be roughly half that of last year’s march, which will be a concern for the pro-democracy camp as they face a difficult 2019. The prosecution of Tai and his co-defendants could pale in comparison to what some fear will happen if the Hong Kong government, under pressure from China, moves to pass a hugely controversial anti-sedition law.
Critics say this could criminalize swathes of opposition figures, ranging from pro-democracy activists and separatists to religious minorities and media figures critical of Beijing.





Hong Kong/China: Hong Kong democracy leaders defiant as landmark trial wraps up

December 14, 2018

umbrella movement occupy trial

Hong Kong democracy leaders pledged on Friday to sustain their fight for full democracy at the end of a month-long trial that could see them jailed for leading and inciting 2014 protests against what they see as Beijing’s unjust curbs on freedom.

Nine defendants face a maximum seven years in jail for each of various charges that include conspiracy to commit public nuisance and incitement to commit public nuisance. A verdict is expected on April 9.

They all pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say they were instigators of the 79-day “Occupy” protests in late 2014 which drew hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets, hoping to press Beijing to grant full democracy in the global financial hub.

“Only through the introduction of genuine universal suffrage could a door be opened to resolving the deep-seated conflicts in Hong Kong,” one of the nine, law professor Benny Tai, 54, told the court.

“The price of freedom is indeed eternal vigilance.”

The former British colony of Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula, with the promise of a high degree of autonomy and universal suffrage as an “ultimate aim”.

Critics, however, including foreign governments and business groups, say that the guarantee is ringing increasingly hollow, with a democratic reform process now largely stalled.

The trial is the latest in a series against Hong Kong’s pro-democracy opposition that has seen scores of activists jailed.

Activists say Hong Kong’s freedoms have come under increasing strain, and they point to the recent expulsion of a British journalist and various steps to shut out democrats from city politics.










Hong Kong/China: ‘I will never give up’: Law professor Benny Tai takes the stand in trial of 2014 pro-democracy activists

December 12, 2018

umbrella movement occupy trial

(Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man. Photo: inmediahk.net.)

Occupy Central co-founder and law professor Benny Tai made an emotional paean to civil disobedience and democracy on Wednesday as the trial of nine pro-democracy activists approaches an end.

Tai told the court that the intent of the 2014 occupy movement was to arouse public concern for Hong Kong’s democratic deficit, not to cause unreasonable obstruction.

“If we were to be guilty, we will be guilty for daring to share hope at this difficult time in Hong Kong,” he said.

“I am not afraid or ashamed of going to prison. If this is the cup I must take, I will drink with no regret.”

Tai was among the nine politicians and activists who face charges over the 79-day pro-democracy occupation movement in 2014. The defendants face various public nuisance and incitement charges, which carry a maximum jail sentence of seven years. All have pleaded not guilty.

On Wednesday, Tai said he used many years of his life to defend the city’s rule of law, adding: “I will also never give up on striving for Hong Kong’s democracy.”






https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Tai (FRANCAIS)


Rob Tibbo arranged for the U.S. whistleblower, then the planet’s most-wanted man, to hide with three refugee families. Now they seem to be facing the consequences

As Rob Tibbo raced to the Hong Kong International Airport one day last November to catch his getaway flight, a nagging fear followed close behind.

Tibbo, a Canadian expatriate lawyer and respected officer of the local courts, had been in hiding from the police for a month and still worried he could be arrested at any moment.

But his taxi arrived at the airport without incident, and Tibbo was soon in safe hands: Pascal Paradis, a Montreal-based leader of the group Lawyers without Borders, and two Canadian diplomats who shadowed him through security, making sure he safely boarded the Vancouver-bound Air Canada jet.

First, though, he bid an emotional final farewell to several of his impoverished clients also waiting in the terminal, among them migrants who, along with Tibbo, had found themselves in the midst of a story that shook the world.

A year earlier, the National Post — along with the New York Times and Germany’s Handelsblatt — had revealed that the lawyer had arranged for American spy-agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, at the time the planet’s most-wanted man after leaking details of U.S. mass-surveillance programs, to hide in the Hong Kong homes of three refugee families before catching his own flight to Moscow.

Now they all seemed to be facing the consequences of that fateful act.

Tibbo himself faced escalating pressure from the authorities. The legal-aid organizations that funded the refugee cases choked off payments and questioned his professionalism, while Hong Kong’s legal regulator peppered the lawyer with disciplinary charges after a spotless 15-year career in the territory.

When it seemed the police, too, were on his trail, Tibbo decided he had to leave.

“I’m pretty much out of money. My wife and I are pretty much living in poverty,” he told the Post. “The bottom line is my career in Hong Kong is over.”




Director Oliver Stone writes to Trudeau, urges him to admit Snowden’s Hong Kong helpers as refugees

Meet the Canadian who hid Edward Snowden: Robert Tibbo helped fugitive disappear in slums of Hong Kong




Man who sheltered whistleblower Snowden needs Canada’s help immediately: lawyer

http://www.nationalmagazine.ca/Articles/November/Snowden-s-Canadian-lawyer.aspx (FRANCAIS)

https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1138586/tibbo-robert-hong-kong-avocat-canada-refugie-edward-snowden (FRANCAIS)

https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/lavocat-canadien-qui-defendu-snowden-sest-refugie-en-france?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&Echobox=1543510592&fbclid=IwAR1pQnHvQJZO4pYoM3nDJCpazjSklkFQNj0apyWhWaDp5wNPOXpYrskLGUA (FRANCAIS)

https://derstandard.at/2000092508702/Snowdens-Anwalt-Robert-Tibbo-geraet-immer-mehr-unter-Druck (DEUTSCH)

https://cn.nytimes.com/world/20181129/edward-snowden-lawyer-hong-kong/zh-hant/ (MANDARIN)

Hong Kong/China: Hong Kong NGOs to highlight China’s suppression of lawyers, labour groups at United Nations

October 3, 2018

A representative from the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) will speak at a United Nations conference next week to highlight human rights abuses in China such as the suppression of lawyers and labour unions.

Ming Lam, Albert Ho Emily Lau

Ming Lam of HKCTU will be speaking at a pre-session of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review, which examines the human rights performance of member states once every five years. The pre-session is designed for civil organisations to raise issues before the Human Rights Council conducts its inquiry in November.

Lam will travel to Geneva next week accompanied by Albert Ho and Emily Lau, both representatives of the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (CHRLCG).

Ho will also represent the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, one of the largest pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong.

Ho said the group will prioritise the issue of oppressed dissidents: “We have to pinpoint the imprisonment or detention of a number of dissidents [who were detained] simply because of their exercise of the freedom of speech in a peaceful and non-violent manner,” he said.

The group demanded that China release all detained dissidents and stop the persecution of human rights activists. It raised examples including Wang Quanzhang, a human rights lawyer who has been detained for over 1,100 days without trial, as well as lawyers Yu Wensheng, Li Yuhan and Jiang Tianyong.