Tag Archives: Hong Kong

Hong Kong: Arrests under security law are serious concern, UN experts call for review 


Hong Kong, Chine. Le 05septembre 2021. Les vice-présidentes de l'Alliance  de Hong Kong pour le soutien des mouvements démocratiques patriotiques de  Chine Chow Hang-Tung ont publiquement rejeté la demande d'information de la

UN human rights experts* expressed deep concern about the arrest of Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and woman human rights defender Chow Hang-Tung on charges of “incitement to subversion” and being a foreign agent, and urged authorities to refrain from the use of the National Security Law and reconsider its application.

Ms. Chow, a human rights lawyer, was arrested on 8 September 2021. She was a member of the Hong Kong Alliance, an advocacy group which organised the annual candlelight vigil marking the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square. Several other activists have been similarly arrested and charged under the National Security Law.

“Terrorism and sedition charges are being improperly used to stifle the exercise of fundamental rights, which are protected under international law, including freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to participate in public affairs,” the experts said.

The experts have communicated in detailed written analysis their concerns to the Government of the People’s Republic of China about the National Security Law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region highlighting the law’s fundamental incompatibility with international law and with China’s human rights obligations.

The experts also raised their concerns over the qualification of “foreign agent” under the National Security Law, in which reference is made to funding received from foreign governments and activities benefitting them. The experts called on the Government to ensure that associations can seek, receive and use funding from foreign or international sources, without undue impediments.






https://www.rfi.fr/cn/%E4%B8%AD%E5%9B%BD/20211012-%E8%81%94%E5%90%88%E5%9B%BD%E4%BA%BA%E6%9D%83%E4%B8%93%E5%AE%B6%E5%AF%B9%E9%A6%99%E6%B8%AF%E6%A0%B9%E6%8D%AE%E5%9B%BD%E5%AE%89%E6%B3%95%E5%AE%9E%E6%96%BD%E9%80%AE%E6%8D%95%E8%A1%A8%E8%BE%BE%E5%85%B3%E5%88%87 (CHINESE)

https://www.notimerica.com/politica/noticia-china-onu-pide-hong-kong-reconsidere-ley-seguridad-nacional-20211013075949.html (ESPANOL)

Canada: LSO should speak out on behalf of Hong Kong lawyers: Bencher Chi-Kun Shi


LSO should speak out on behalf of Hong Kong lawyers: Bencher Chi-Kun Shi

The profession should be inspired by the heroism of these lawyers and honour them, Shi says

With the Law Society of Ontario’s commitment to monitor human rights violations that targeting members of the legal profession, bencher and trial lawyer Chi-Kun Shi wants the LSO to act on behalf of Hong Kong lawyers who uphold and defend the rule of law but face human rights violations in China.

 The LSO often writes letters to foreign governments opining on the rule of law and human rights, and Shi says that intervening for Hong Kong lawyers and paralegals in China honours their courage and sends a signal that they are supported and remembered.

 The LSO wrote a letter to President Xi Jinping and Chief Executive Carrie Lam in May 2021 condemning the human rights violations of legal professionals and unjust sentencing of lawyers Dr. Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, Martin Lee Chu-ming and Albert Ho Chun-yan for participating in “unauthorized protests” in April 2020.

The letter urged the president to comply with China’s international human rights laws, including the United Nation’s universal declaration of human rights.

 “The recent convictions and unjust sentencing of lawyers and pro-democracy advocates lawyers Dr. Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, Martin Lee Chu-ming and Albert Ho Chun-yan underscore the continuing assault on freedom of expression and right to assembly in Hong Kong. Arresting and charging lawyers and other human rights defenders who have engaged in peaceful assembly and advocacy creates a dangerous standard for all those who work to promote and defend human rights and the rule of law in Hong Kong.”

 The LSO asked for the immediate and unconditional release of Ngoi-yee, Chu-ming and Chun-yan, the dismissal of their convictions and assurance that all lawyers, paralegals and human rights defenders can carry out their professional duties without fear of reprisals and physical violence.

Shi says she hopes the LSO will act within its power, “walk the talk,” and grant honorary LSO membership to Ngoi-yee, Chu-ming and Chun-yan. She intended to bring forward the motion for honorary membership on October 1 convocation but says she withdrew the motion to rework it. 

“Instead of singling out three people who has illuminated the legal profession, I would like to include all the unsung heroes, lawyers and paralegals in Hong Kong who have stepped up in face of tyranny to defend our shared value of rule of law,” she says.

For example, “the young lawyers who jumped into taxis to follow paddy wagons to police station to represent the demonstrators arrested. They would want to be remembered.”




Hong Kong group supporting mainland China lawyers to disband after police demand information citing national security law


Members of the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group hold a protest in 2017 over the treatment of the profession on the mainland. Photo: Dickson Lee
  • China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group says it will dissolve this month and has already started voluntary liquidation procedure
  • But the group does not say what information police were seeking or whether it complied with the request

A Hong Kong group founded to support human rights lawyers in mainland China has announced it will disband, a decision coinciding with a deadline for the organisation to provide police with information requested on national security grounds.

The China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group will be the latest in a run of Hong Kong civic bodies to dissolve following Beijing’s imposition of a national security law on the city last year.

Two prominent opposition-leaning bodies – the Professional Teachers’ Union and the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions – have ceased operations in the past month amid warnings from authorities and attacks from pro-Beijing mouthpieces over alleged national security violations.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, which organises the city’s annual candlelight vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, is also set to vote on its disbandment on Saturday.

Hong Kong’s national security police last month wrote to the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group demanding its leaders submit relevant information as requested.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, also the deadline for submission, the group said it had decided to disband and had already replied to the force’s letter of inquiry dated August 25.







China: Acts of torture against detained rights lawyer Chang Weiping


China Change » An Open Letter to the People's Republic of China Ministry of  Public Security and Minister Zhao Kezhi


The Observatory has been informed by the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) about the acts of torture and ill-treatment perpetrated against Chang Weiping, a prominent human rights lawyer known for taking on sensitive human rights cases and filling lawsuits against companies for discrimination in the workplace against women, LGBTQ+ persons, and individuals affected by HIV/AIDs.

On September 14, 2021, Chang Weiping was allowed to meet his lawyer for the first time since his arbitrary arrest on October 22, 2020. During the meeting, which took place at the Feng County Detention Centre, in the area of Baoji City, Shaanxi Province, Chang Weiping reported having been subjected to numerous forms of physical and psychological torture in the six-month period he spent under “residential surveillance in a designated location” (RSDL), a form of enforced disappearance [1] , from October 2020 to April 2021. Chang Weiping was subjected to the “tiger chair” [2] for six consecutive days, subjected to sleep deprivation, placed under 24 hours video surveillance, denied food and allowed to shower only five times during the six-month period. At the time of publication of this Urgent Appeal, Chang Weiping remained detained at the Feng County Detention Centre, at high risk of renewed acts of torture.

The Observatory recalls that Chang Weiping was arrested on October 22, 2020 at his home in Fengxiang County, Shaanxi Province, by police officers from Baoji City. Later the same day, Chang Weiping’s wife received a phone call from a police officer who informed her that her husband had been placed under RSDL. Following his detention, the Baoji City Public Security Bureau denied two separate requests presented by Chang Weiping’s lawyers to meet with their client. Furthermore, one of the lawyers was informed that Chang Weiping was suspected of “subversion of State power” and that the case involved “State secrets”.

Six days before his arrest, on October 16, 2020, Chang Weiping had published a video statement on social media denouncing the physical and psychological torture he had been subjected to while in detention under RSDL from January 12 to 21, 2020, including being tied to a “tiger chair”. Arrested on charges of “subversion of State power” (Article 105(1) of China’s Criminal Law), Chang Weiping was released on bail pending trial on January 21, 2020. Nonetheless, he was requested to leave his city of residence and was confined to his family home in Baoji, where he remained under strict police scrutiny, including daily phone calls and weekly meetings with the police. Furthermore, he was prevented from being reunited with his family.








Hong Kong national security law: leaders of Tiananmen vigil group remanded in custody after being charged with inciting subversion


Chow Hang-tung, vice-chairwoman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China. Photo: Handout
  • Barrister Chow Hang-tung fails with bail application, while jailed pair Lee Cheuk-yan and lawyer Albert Ho opt against applying for temporary release
  • Trio are all members of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China

Three leaders of the group behind Hong Kong’s annual Tiananmen Square vigil have been remanded in custody, after being charged with inciting subversion against state power under the national security law on Friday.

Chow Hang-tung, a barrister and vice-chairwoman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, failed to secure bail in West Kowloon Court, while chairman Lee Cheuk-yan and vice-chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, who are both already in jail in separate cases, did not apply for temporary release.

The alliance and its three leaders have been accused of inciting others to “organise, plan, commit or participate in acts by unlawful means with a view to subverting the state power”.

A charge sheet said the defendants had advocated “overthrowing or undermining the basic system of the People’s Republic of China” established by the constitution, or “overthrowing the body of central power of the People’s Republic of China”.

Prosecutor Anthony Chau Tin-hang applied for an eight-week adjournment to allow time for police to investigate, including examining computers and electronic devices seized on Thursday from the group’s June 4 museum.

When asked by the court clerk whether she understood the charge, Chow said: “I understand that it is a very ridiculous allegation.”










https://www.lepoint.fr/monde/hong-kong-la-police-a-perquisitionne-le-musee-dedie-a-tiananmen-09-09-2021-2442411_24.php (FRANCAIS)



https://www.diepresse.com/6031543/polizei-in-hongkong-durchsucht-tiananmen-museum-und-entfernt-exponate (DEUTSCH)

May be an illustration of 1 person and text that says "S FORE HANG TUNG CHO"
May be an image of 4 people and text that says "CHOW Hang Tung LEE Cheuk Yan Albert Ho"

Hong Kong leader tells legal body to stay out of politics


Chief executive Carrie Lam's comments towards the Law Society come as China remoulds Hong Kong in its own image

Hong Kong’s leader on Tuesday warned one of the city’s top legal bodies against getting involved in politics, in the latest sign of the government telling professional bodies to toe Beijing’s line.

Chief executive Carrie Lam’s comments towards the Law Society come as China remoulds Hong Kong in its own image and pursues civil society groups deemed to be politically disloyal or supportive of the city’s democracy movement.

“If the Law Society allows politics to hijack their legal profession, the government will… consider severing its relationship with it,” Lam told reporters, without spelling out what measures the government might take.

With over 12,000 members, the Law Society is the city’s largest association of solicitors and the only regulatory body of its type with statutory powers.

It can issue practising certificates, investigate professional malpractice and establish rules of conduct for the industry.

Next week it will elect five of its 20 council members and pro-establishment figures are concerned more liberal, pro-democracy minded lawyers might win.

On Sunday the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party, published a commentary warning the Law Society not to elect any “anti-China elements” and choose “professionalism rather than politics”.

The same commentary also described Hong Kong’s Bar Association — which represents barristers — as a “street rat”.

The Bar Association has been more outspoken than the Law Society about concerns that Hong Kong’s vaunted judicial independence is being undermined by China’s crackdown on dissent, including the imposition of a national security law that reshaped the city’s legal landscape.

In a statement responding to Lam’s comments, Law Society president Melissa Pang said her group had “remained politically neutral”.

Some legal figures expressed concerns about Lam’s comments.

“‘Politicized’ appears to be new govt code word for ‘non-pro-govt candidates winning a majority on the Law Society council’,” Antony Dapiran, a Hong Kong lawyer and author, wrote on Twitter.

China has cracked down on dissent and overseen a campaign to purge the city of people and groups deemed unpatriotic since huge and disruptive democracy protests convulsed Hong Kong two years ago.

Over 30 professional and political groups have disbanded in the past year, often after being singled out by Chinese state media and then investigated by authorities.









https://www.lapresse.ca/international/asie-et-oceanie/2021-08-17/hong-kong/la-cheffe-de-l-executif-demande-a-un-organe-juridique-de-rester-a-l-ecart-de-la-politique.php (FRANCAIS)

Lawyers detained in China over courtroom video of prosecutor admitting errors


Zhou Xiaoyun. Photo: Weibo

Known for his signature look of dark glasses and a surgical mask, investigative journalist-turned-lawyer Zhou Xiaoyun appears to have been detained over a courtroom video posted online more than a year ago.

The public security bureau of the city of Panjin in the northeastern province of Liaoning, said on Thursday it had detained Zhou, as well as Chengdu-based lawyer Nie Min, on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”, a catch-all offence often used by authorities to muzzle dissent.

“The lawyers Nie and Zhou were jointly planning, Nie provided materials, [their client] provided remuneration to Zhou … and [he] published and spread fabricated false information on the internet at home and abroad,” the bureau said in a statement published on its official account on Weibo, an online microblogging platform.

Zhou’s detention in Panjin is connected to his role as a defence lawyer for a group of men accused by the bureau of being loan sharks.

The case opened in June 2020 and the trial drew public attention because of a prosecutor’s statements in court, which were recorded and uploaded to the Chinese courts’ official website for live-streaming trials.

In clips posted online in June 2020, the prosecutor admitted to several procedural errors during the trial and said “the ability and level of our investigators may not have reached the level required by [the] defendants”.

“We are Panjin, we are not a first- or second-tier city,” the prosecutor said.

In the video, prosecutor Sun Wang says: “Among judicial organs, accepting bribes and not getting work done precisely shows that the judicial staff have guaranteed their moral bottom line.”

Beijing-based lawyer Wei Rujiu wrote on WeChat that Zhou posted the clip online and this was the reason for Zhou’s detention, as well as that of Nie.

Wei’s post has since been circulated by many lawyers in China and abroad.














Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Activist Arrested Again


Chow Hang Tung, Vice Chairperson of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Democratic Patriotic Movements of China, leaves…

A Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and human rights lawyer was arrested for the second time in less than a month Wednesday, marking the city’s first year under the national security law. 

Chow Hang Tung, a vice chair for the nonprofit Hong Kong Alliance, was arrested for inciting illegal assembly, which was scheduled to take place July 1. She was also arrested June 4 for the same charge, according to Richard Tsoi, the group’s secretary-general.  

Anniversaries in Hong Kong are common this time of year. June 4 marks Beijing’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989, while July 1 marks the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from Britain to China, 24 years ago. July 1 also marks the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. 

Chow was initially arrested in early June for allegedly inciting unauthorized assembly to commemorate the Tiananmen Square crackdown. She was released on bail two days later, but according to news reports, police have now revoked her bail. 







https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/hongkong-l-avocate-chow-hang-tung-une-des-figures-du-mouvement-pour-la-democratie-de-nouveau-arretee-20210630 (FRANCAIS)


Hong Kong/China: Tiananmen: Hong Kong vigil organiser arrested on 32nd anniversary


Chow Hang-tung, barrister and a leader of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.

Pro-democracy activist Chow Hang Tung has been arrested by Hong Kong police on the 32nd anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Chow is vice chairwoman of the Hong Kong Alliance which organises annual vigils for victims of Beijing’s deadly crackdown on democracy protesters.

She has been arrested for promoting unauthorised assembly.

It comes as Hong Kong has banned the vigil for the second year running, citing coronavirus restrictions.

Hong Kong and Macau are the only places in Chinese territory where people can commemorate the deadly 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

But this year, authorities in Macau also banned the vigil for the second year in a row, saying it would violate local criminal laws.

Chow was arrested early in the morning outside her office by officers in plain clothes, according to reports.

She was placed in a black saloon car and driven away, the AFP news agency said.

Speaking to the BBC ahead of her arrest, Chow, who is also a lawyer and a human rights activist, said she was prepared for the inevitable.

“I am prepared to be arrested. This is how Hong Kong is now. If you fight for democracy under an authoritarian regime, being arrested is unavoidable. Let it come. I am willing to pay the price for fighting for democracy,” she said.

Huge crowds usually gather in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park each year to mark the anniversary of Chinese troops crushing peaceful democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989.

Troops and tanks opened fire on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing – estimates of the dead vary from a few hundred to several thousand.

But last year, Hong Kong banned the vigil for the first time in 30 years – citing virus concerns.











https://www.france24.com/fr/asie-pacifique/20210604-tiananmen-une-militante-pro-d%C3%A9mocratie-chow-hang-tung-arr%C3%AAt%C3%A9e-%C3%A0-hong-kong (FRANCAIS)



https://www.europapress.es/internacional/noticia-detienen-hong-kong-activista-chow-hang-tung-conmemoracion-masacre-tiananmen-20210604045051.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.diepresse.com/5988828/aktivistin-chow-hang-tung-an-tiananmen-jahrestag-festgenommen (DEUTSCH)

China/USA/Hong Kong: US Calls on Beijing to Respect Rights of Lawyer Barred From Leaving China


FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2020, file photo, university students put up posters to demand of releasing the 12 Hong Kong activists…

The U.S. State Department is calling on China to respect the freedom of a Chinese rights lawyer linked to the defense of one of 12 pro-democracy activists who attempted to flee Hong Kong for Taiwan in a small boat.

“We remain alarmed by human rights violations and abuses in China and call on the PRC (People’s Republic of China) to respect the fundamental freedoms to which their citizens are entitled consistent with China’s international obligations and commitments,” a State Department spokesperson told VOA on Thursday via email.

Chinese human rights lawyer Lu Siwei told VOA Mandarin by phone on May 10 that two days earlier he had been barred from leaving the country. Officers at Shanghai Pudong Airport kept him from boarding a Delta Air Lines flight to the U.S. where he was to participate in the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, a one-year nondegree course of study for midcareer professionals sponsored by the State Department. 

Lu did not specify where he was expecting to pursue the fellowship, and program administrators have not replied to VOA requests for information about Lu’s situation and the participation of Chinese officials. A request for comment to China’s embassy in Washington has gone unanswered.

Hong Kong 12

Lu, who is based in Chengdu, Sichuan province, in western China, was one of two lawyers who represented 12 Hong Kong residents, the so-called Hong Kong 12, after they were intercepted at sea by Chinese authorities as they tried to flee to Taiwan on August 23, 2020.

In January, the Sichuan Provincial Judicial Department revoked his license to practice law and the Sichuan Provincial Lawyers Association, a government-controlled entity, revoked his membership. 

In March, Sichuan authorities banned Lu from going to Beijing to obtain a visa at the U.S. Embassy and warned he would not be allowed to leave China.




https://www.voachinese.com/a/China-bars-rights-lawyer-Lu-Siwei-exit-to-US-again-20210512/5887902.html (CHINESE)

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/fr/profile/lu-siwei (FRANCAIS)