Joint Statement Condemning the Violent Crackdown on the Peaceful Pro-Democracy Protestors in Hong Kong
translator: David Wu
proofread: Shaina Wang
On the sixtieth day of the Umbrella Movement, protesters at Mong Kok (旺角) were violently cracked down and forcedly evicted by the overwhelming force of more than six-thousand policemen. The heavily-armed police force cleared off the peaceful and un-armed protesters with batons and tear-gas guns. More than eighty protestors were arrested, including the Vice Secretary-General of HKFS Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) and the Convener of Scholarism Lester Shum(岑敖暉). Evidence shows that Joshua Wong was beaten in the police office.
The bloody crack-down by the Hong Kong government in Mong Kok not only missed out the demands put forward by the Umbrella Movement, but also trampled on the peaceful pursuit of the universal suffrage. According to the ICCPR Conclusion Observation and Recommendations of Hong Kong’s periodic review 2013, the Hong Kong Government should ‘take all necessary measures to implement universal and equal suffrage in conformity with the Covenant as a matter of priority for all future elections…. It should ensure…all its citizens, under the new electoral system…the right to vote and to stand for election in compliance with article 25 of the Covenant.’ Nevertheless, Hong Kong government’s reaction, has not only departed from UN Human Rights Committee’s recommendation, but also has ignored the everlasting belief on human rights and democracy in every citizen’s mind. The violent crack-down on the peaceful protestors with batons, shields, pepper-sprays, and tear-gas as well as physically abusing the protestors during arrest and detention by the HK government have violated the 7th Act of ICCPR which states that ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’
The peaceful, reasonable and non-violent protest and demonstration are not only the core of the freedom of expression and the right to assembly but also the universal value of fundamental human rights, which plays the key role in pluralistic and democratic societies. Today, the outrageous arrogance of public sectors and the abuse power by police have again been rampant on the streets in Hong Kong, which reminds us the violent crack-down at government headquarters on 24 March and the anti-nuclear-plant movement on 28 April in Taiwan this year. With deep sadness, let us severely condemn the abuses of state power and violation of human rights and stand for the rule of law and the people in HK.
In regard to the unlawful behaviours of the HK state authority, we, the human rights organisations, jointly urge the HK government:
- To stop any act of violence and to ensure no further harm on any of these protesters.
- To investigate the abuse of state power and seek the accountabilities of the abusers immediately.
- To face and properly respond to the appeal for the true universal suffrage in HK put forward by the Umbrella Movement.
Joint Statement by:
Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR)
Covenants and Conventions Watch
Judicial Reform Foundation
Taiwan Alliance to End Death Penalty