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Posts tagged as “hong kong government”

2047 is Now. What is the Future of Hong Kong?

We haven’t posted anything for a couple of days on this site. It seemed nothing more could be said about the brutality of Hong Kong’s police, but no other news seems worth writing about in comparison.

By now, pretty much everyone that has been paying attention at all knows about the police siege of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Hundreds of students are trapped there. The police won’t let them leave unless they “surrender,” which would almost certainly mean being subjected to torture and abuse. Naturally, the students don’t want to surrender, for that reason, and also because they believe they are fighting for their home, their freedom, and their rights. They deserve and need the entire free world’s support.

In 2047, the “one country, two systems” agreement that was negotiated between the U.K. and the Chinese government at the handover in 1997 officially ends, and Hong Kong becomes completely subject to the arbitrary legal system of mainland China, where there is no rule of law, lawyers are regularly arrested and detained, the rights of citizens are non-existent, and people accused of “crimes” are disappeared into black jails, with no contact with lawyers or family.

But today, it is clear that it is already 2047 in Hong Kong.

In the past couple of days, Hong Kong’s highest court ruled that Carrie Lam’s ban on face masks is unconstitutional, violating the Basic Law.

Today, the CCP said that Hong Kong’s courts cannot rule on the constitutionality of legislation passed by the Hong Kong government. Only the CCP can. Read this important thread: https://twitter.com/stuartlauscmp/status/1196565359026999296

[China’s] constitution and the Basic Law jointly form the constitutional foundation of [HK]. Whether HK’s legislation is consistent with the HK Basic Law can only judged and decided by the National People’s Congress standing committee. No other parties can judge or decide.”

CCP National People’s Congress overrules Hong Kong’s High Court

If Hong Kong’s courts cannot decide what Kong Kong’s laws mean and whether or not they are in accordance with Hong Kong’s constitution (the Basic Law), then there is no reason for them to exist. There is no longer any rule of law in Hong Kong.

There is also now evidence that authorities are transporting arrested pro-democracy demonstrators out of Hong Kong. Carrie Lam may have withdrawn the extradition bill that started the demonstrations, but everyone knows that the CCP will do whatever it wants, regardless of what any law says.

If this is actually happening now in Hong Kong, it’s a scene that reminds us of the worst atrocities visited on people in all of human history. It is terrifying. Given what we know is happening in Xinjiang to the Uyghurs, it is certainly possible that these young people will disappear into China’s gulag, where they will have no rights at all. Pray that they will be released soon, unharmed.

It is already 2047 in Hong Kong.

The Definition of Insanity…

… is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result*.

Are Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong government, and the Hong Kong police insane?

They seem to be doing the same things again and again: oppressing the people of Hong Kong more and more ruthlessly, banning face masks, beating and abusing the demonstrators, firing more tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets, even raping and shooting demonstrators with lethal weapons. None of that has worked, and yet they continue to expect a different result. It won’t happen. The demonstrators continue their resistance. Public support for the demonstrations has continued, even increased, while at this point, the vast majority of the Hong Kong people loathe Carrie Lam and the police.

So, are Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong government, and the Hong Kong police actually insane? Probably not in the clinical sense; although, some of the members of the Hong Kong police definitely seem to have lost control of themselves and may truly be suffering from mental illness.

Carrie Lam has backed herself into a corner, probably with the “advice” of the CCP’s thugs government bureaucrats. She has said there can be and will be no negotiations, and the demonstrators Five Demands can never be implemented.

What then, is the solution? More of the same? Escalation of violence until dozens, hundreds, even thousands or tens of thousands are killed? Insanity.

At this point, there is more-or-less open warfare between the Hong Kong police and the young people of Hong Kong; although, it is by no means only young people that are protesting. In the past couple of days, thousands of office workers have taken to the streets in the Hong Kong central financial district, peacefully protesting, where of course, they were tear gassed by the police.

The CCP, and by extension the Hong Kong government and police, are utterly bereft of ideas. They seem to understand violence and oppression as the only means of dealing with people. It isn’t surprising, given the CCP’s history. Mao said, “Every Communist must grasp the truth; ‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.'” It is what they believe and all they know, to this day. Insanity.

At this point, we have no answers, only prayers for Hong Kong.

* Although often attributed to Albert Einstein, apparently, it was not actually said by him.

How the Government and Police are Eroding Human Rights in Hong Kong

By now it is well known that the protests in Hong Kong started over a proposed amendment to Hong Kong law that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China for trial. The people of Hong Kong were rightfully concerned – terrified, is perhaps the better word – that this change in the law would allow political dissidents to be arrested for some “crime” and then extradited to the mainland, where they would be under the control of the CCP’s “legal” system – and where they would have no rights whatsoever. Undoubtedly, some, many, all of them would be disappeared into China’s notorious prisons, never to be heard from again.

Now that the extradition bill has been withdrawn, the protests have become primarily a pro-democracy movement. The protesters are demanding universal suffrage as one of their “Five Demands, Not One Less,” as well as advocating for their human rights, which are guaranteed in the Hong Kong Basic Law, but are not respected by the CCP government in Beijing and are being eroded step-by-step by the Hong Kong government and police. This excellent Twitter thread by Elson Tong, a Hong Kong University law student, explains how the Hong Kong police have been further and further restricting the Hong Kong people’s right of assembly. It’s long, but well worth the read to better understand the tactics of the Hong Kong police, no doubt backed and organized by CCP elements within the Hong Kong police:

This kind of clear-eyed view of the strategies and tactics of the CCP and their followers is very much needed. Thanks to Elson Tong for providing this thread. We hope he is okay with us reposting it here. Of course, if he is not, we will take down this post immediately.

It is typical of the CCP to continue to apply pressure until their target capitulates. They almost never negotiate, and even when they do, they do not negotiate in good faith. They will break any agreement they make as soon as they think it is in their interest to do so, and they think they can get away with it. So far the pro-democracy movement has not capitulated to the CCP’s pressure tactics and use of violence as a means of oppression and coercion.

Happy Halloween? Hong Kong Police Say No.

Today is Halloween. It’s supposed to be a happy, fun, and perhaps a little bit silly day for people to celebrate with costumes, candy, and parties. But by now, we know that’s not possible in Hong Kong. Not with the brutal monsters in the Hong Kong police making sure that no one has fun.

Just keep scrolling and viewing the videos and pictures, if you have the stomach for it. The behavior of the Hong Kong police is sickening.

He committed the crime of honking his horn. Clearly a dangerous criminal.
Absolutely egregious abuse and brutality. Pepper spray directly into this man’s eyes, for no reason whatsoever. He is a Hong Kong citizen, though, so he’s automatically guilty of something or other.
Committing the crime of being on the sidewalk on Halloween night. Shoot them!
Watch out Hong Kong police. Next time they may throw spit wads!
We cannot be sarcastic about this one. The Hong Kong police abused an American woman. A MOAB directly onto HK police headquarters might be an appropriate response. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-43/B_MOAB
Beautiful? Well, not sure about that, but the HK police seemed to like it.
He committed the crime of talking while wearing a suit. The problem, obviously, is that he wasn’t wearing a tie.
Don’t let anyone tell you that the police just attack and arrest young protesters. Everyone, no matter how young or old, is in danger from the police brutality.
They were committing the obvious crimes of walking and doing journalism. Pepper spray them!
No entertainment allowed! Tear gas all the things!

We really hate to and don’t want to turn this site into a daily commentary on Hong Kong police brutality. This writer feels actually heartbroken that so many posts have been written here about it. But there just is no other honest choice, if we are to follow our conscience. The brutalization and oppression of the Hong Kong people by the Hong Kong government and police must be exposed and brought to light as widely as possible. We know that this site doesn’t get many readers, but if we can help in even this small way, we will continue to do so.

We sincerely hope that in the very near future, the rights and freedom of Hong Kongers will be secured, and we will be able to focus our attention on more positive developments in Chinese communities around the world. #FreeHongKong

Recurring Themes: Brutality and Gaslighting

Frankly, it’s getting a little tiresome to write so many articles about the Hong Kong police force’s brutality against the people of Hong Kong. We could post about some incident of brutality or another literally every day – even multiple times a day. But we really feel like we are left with no choice but to continue. If the world stops paying attention, the situation in Hong Kong very likely would be even worse than it already is. Even though this site doesn’t get many readers, it’s our mission to highlight important news from Chinese communities around the world, and we will continue to do so. What is happening in Hong Kong is one of the most important things happening in the world right now, so we have to write about it.

The brutality and unprofessionalism of the Hong Kong police has been well documented by several respected observers and news organizations: Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the New York Times, and many others, as well as in dozens, even hundreds, of videos taken by professional and amateur videographers. With cell phone cameras in the hands of just about everyone on the street these days, incidents of police brutality are almost certain to be recorded by someone. In press conferences, the Hong Kong police have been confronted by these videos showing their brutality many times. Not surprisingly, the police have been retaliating against journalists, targeting them for violence and harassment. Like this:

The police officer threw a tear gas grenade directly at reporters covering the Hong Kong demonstrations, hitting or nearly hitting one female reporter in the head, then the police just boarded their busses and left. What was the purpose of that, if not just to harass journalists?

The oppression of organized religion by the CCP is also well-known. Was the CCP behind today’s incident where the oldest mosque in Hong Kong was targeted by a police water cannon spraying blue dye and irritants? Or was it just more brutality, hostility, and unprofessionalism by the Hong Kong police? Whatever the case, a small group of people was standing in front of the mosque, not doing anything illegal, not violent, when a police water cannon truck stopped in front of the mosque, and twice sprayed the front steps and the small group of people.

In this video from above, you can clearly see the small group of people in front on the mosque, then the water cannon truck stopping and firing the water cannon at the people, deliberately dousing the people there and splashing the steps and grounds of the mosque with blue dye and irritant chemicals – and then, like in the case where the police targeted the journalists with a tear gas grenade, they just drove away. It serves no legitimate purpose; it’s just harassment and terrorism.

Making the situation worse was the gaslighting by the Hong Kong police.

As anyone can see by watching these videos, there was nothing accidental about the water cannon being used on the small, peaceful group of people in front of the mosque. It was deliberate targeting of people doing nothing illegal, nothing violent.

In this case, even the tone-deaf, obtuse, stupid Hong Kong government realized that the police had gone too far, and they were forced to apologize:

Carrie Lam had to make an appearance at the mosque to try to smooth things over.

While the Hong Kong police brutalized Hong Kongers, the pro-democracy demonstrators and other ordinary Hong Kong people gathered to clean up the mess that the police made:

Hours later, continuing their gaslighting of the people of Hong Kong, some police showed up at the mosque to stage a photo op and PR stunt to show how concerned they were by “cleaning up” the blue dye that had already been cleaned up. According to reports, they were there for about five minutes:

This kind of gaslighting by the Hong Kong police, denying obvious reality and daring anyone to say anything about it, is a common tactic when confronted with their brutality and law-breaking. Here a Hong Kong police officer says he works for the U.S. FBI when asked for his identification:

A couple of weeks ago, Vasco Williams, a senior officer of the HK police said in a press conference in front of dozens of journalists that a video of the police kicking a member of the “Protect Our Children” group in a yellow vest just showed them kicking a “yellow object.”

What he said was so ridiculous and stupid that he had to walk it back later, but he continued to insist that the police had done nothing wrong, even in the face of video evidence of the officers kicking a prostrate, unresisting person – that is not even a protester!

Throughout the entire 20 weeks (at this writing) of pro-democracy demonstrations, these things come up over and over again. The Hong Kong police brutalize the people and then deny, obfuscate, and outright lie about it. They are gaslighting the people of Hong Kong and the world. This outrageous behavior cannot stand. They must be held accountable.

Another Step in the Right Direction: House Passes Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and PROTECT Hong Kong Act

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and the PROTECT Hong Kong Act.

These two acts apply pressure to the Beijing and Hong Kong governments and support the pro-democracy demonstrators in their fight for their human rights, as promised to them in the treaty between the United Kingdom and China, which was registered with the United Nations. Those rights were then enshrined in the Hong Kong Basic Law.

The text of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act is here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/3289/text. The Wikipedia article on the bill says this:

According to the Congressional Research office,[2][3] the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would direct various departments to assess whether political developments in Hong Kong justify changing Hong Kong’s unique treatment under U.S. law. Specifically, it would:
• Require the Secretary of State to issue an annual certification of Hong Kong’s autonomy to justify special treatment afforded to Hong Kong by the U.S. Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992.[13]
• Require the President to identify persons responsible for the abductions of Hong Kong booksellers and journalists and those complicit in suppressing basic freedoms in Hong Kong, including those complicit in the rendition of individuals, in connection to their exercise of internationally recognized rights, to mainland China for detention or trial, and to freeze their U.S.-based assets and deny them entry into the United States.[13]
• Require the President to issue a strategy to protect U.S. citizens and businesses from the risks posed by a revised Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, including by determining whether to revise the U.S.–Hong Kong extradition agreement and the State Department’s travel advisory for Hong Kong.[13]
• Require the Secretary of Commerce to issue an annual report assessing whether the government of Hong Kong is adequately enforcing both U.S. export regulations regarding sensitive dual-use items and U.S. and U.N. sanctions, particularly regarding Iran and North Korea.[13]
• Make clear that visa applicants shall not be denied visas on the basis of the applicant’s arrest, detention or other adverse government action taken as a result of their participation in the nonviolent protest activities related to pro-democracy advocacy, human rights, or the rule of law in Hong Kong.[13]

Wikipedia article on Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act

For the pro-democracy movement, the first, second, and last items are likely the most significant.

First, if Hong Kong’s autonomy is not guaranteed, it may lose its special status as a trading partner with the U.S. This will put enormous pressure on Hong Kong’s business people. They have significant influence on the Hong Kong government, and to some degree on the Beijing government. The CCP is trying to replace the Hong Kong financial markets with markets in Shenzhen and Shanghai, but even if that is ultimately successful, it will take time – probably some years. Much of the capital from the west that finances China’s business enters through Hong Kong, so losing special status would be a blow not just to Hong Kong, but also to mainland China. It is not something Beijing can just ignore; though the CCP will no doubt downplay its importance.

Next, the second bullet point contains a bombshell in the clause that says that the President must “identify persons…complicit in suppressing basic freedoms in Hong Kong…and to freeze their U.S.-based assets and deny them entry into the United States.” That is big. Members of the Hong Kong government and police, as well as members of the Beijing government identified by the U.S. administration as having oppressed the human rights of the people of Hong Kong risk losing investments and property in the U.S. and being denied entry. Given that many wealthy Chinese from the mainland and from Hong Kong have investments and property in the U.S., it is a powerful statement.

Finally, the last bullet point says that the pro-democracy demonstrators are welcome in the U.S. regardless of whether Hong Kong or mainland China says they have committed crimes, as they should be. Fighting for one’s natural human rights is not a crime.

The PROTECT Hong Kong Act is perhaps more symbolic, in that it will restrict the sale of tear gas and other non-lethal munitions to the Hong Kong government and police by U.S. companies. Those non-lethal munitions can undoubtedly be sourced from other countries, so the impact on brutality and violence by the Hong Kong police is probably limited. Nevertheless, it does send another message to the Hong Kong government that the U.S. will not be complicit in its violation of the rights of the demonstrators.

We continue to urge the U.S. government to take additional measures to pressure the Beijing and Hong Kong governments to honor the promises that they have made in formal treaties and in the Basic Law, to respect the rights of all citizens of Hong Kong to self-representation, free speech, free assembly, and a free and impartial legal system (among others). In addition, there must be a free, impartial, and effective investigation into the clearly documented acts of brutality committed by the Hong Kong police. The U.S. has additional legal and diplomatic tools at its disposal, including designating individuals and organizations under the Global Magnitsky Act and placement on the Department of Commerce Entity List. Despite the shameful actions of a few, the vast majority of Americans support the pro-democracy demonstrations. Continued support by prominent Americans, senators, and representatives encourages the demonstrators and adds pressure to the Beijing and Hong Kong governments to take necessary steps to guarantee Hong Kong’s rights and freedom. Americans in a position to speak up in support should do so, not hide behind moral equivalence and platitudes to protect their wallets. Have moral courage to do what is right.

Support the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act

The U.S. Congress is set to debate (and should pass) the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy act soon (tomorrow in the U.S. House of Representatives). Today, massive rallies were held in Hong Kong in support of the bill.

Tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Hong Kongers took part in the rallies, asking for U.S. support of the bill.

As we’ve said before, the U.S. Congress should pass the bill as soon as possible, and President Trump should sign it into law. In addition, we strongly urge President Trump’s administration to designate members of the Hong Kong legislative council, including Carrie Lam, and the entire Hong Kong police force under the Global Magnitsky Act. Further measures should also be taken to add some Hong Kong individuals and companies to the Entities List by the U.S. Commerce Department, preventing them from doing business in or with the U.S. Twenty-eight Chinese companies and organizations were added to the Entities List a few days ago for their part in oppression of the Uyghurs and other Chinese Muslim populations. The people of Hong Kong are also suffering human rights abuses by the Hong Kong government and police, so the Hong Kong government and police, and their supporters in the Hong Kong business community, should be similarly placed on the Entities List.

Unconscionable

Watch this short video clip.

The Hong Kong police have arrested a ten-year-old girl. This child is literally shaking in fear, while a group of grown men carrying guns stand there threatening and intimidating her.

In what civilized society is this acceptable? The Hong Kong police have become a pack of rabid wolves with no fear of consequences and no conscience. They no longer can legitimately be called a police force. It is time to call their brutal acts what they are: crimes against humanity.

At this point, we believe that even an independent investigation into the actions of the Hong Kong police is insufficient. The Hong Kong government and the leadership of the police have proven unwilling and unable to deal with the police brutality in any meaningful way. It is time for the entire Hong Kong executive leadership to resign in disgrace, to completely disband the Hong Kong police force, and for the officers that have perpetrated acts of brutality and violations of basic human rights to be arrested and prosecuted. Let the Hong Kong people, as they demand, elect completely new leadership via a free and fair election with universal suffrage. After that, the new government can stand up a new police force that respects human rights, protects and serves the people of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Demonstrations Continue – With Masks

As many have reported, the Hong Kong mask ban law introduced by Carrie Lam a couple of days ago appears to have had no effect whatsoever on the demonstrations. Lam said that they would be a deterrent on violence and protesting. Predictably, they have not. In fact, violence may have increased. In any case, the demonstrations continue, and as long as the Hong Kong police do not get involved, the demonstrations seem to be mostly peaceful.

More radical protesters have vandalized quite a lot of businesses seen as pro-Beijing, especially subway and train stations (of Hong Kong’s MTR subway and train system, which protesters view as having assisted the police). ATM machines of banks based in mainland China have been vandalized. Stores of businesses based in mainland China and of pro-Beijing businesses have been attacked as well. All of this has led to the entire MTR subway and train system being shut down, banks and grocery stores closing, and shopping malls being closed.

It is likely that the HK government is behind many of the closures, as part of a plan to have the general public blame the inconvenience on the protesters, so that they lose support. Like the other measures tried by the government, it is unlikely to work. The Hong Kong people know what is going on and understand who is behind it. Making life harder for the people of Hong Kong will only increase their anger, and their anger will be directed primarily at the government.

The Hong Kong government is like a football team (American football!) with only one play in its playbook (continually ratchet up pressure and violence on the Hong Kong people), and they run that play over and over, even though just about every time they get tackled for a loss. Most of the fans in the stands (international observers) are heckling them, hoping that the underdog team (the pro-democracy demonstrators) win the game. The demonstrators are using their hearts and determination, their intelligence and creativity, against enormous odds to win. Let’s all hope they do.

Hong Kong Police Brutality, Part 949923875743

As everyone predicted, other than the completely clueless Carrie Lam, the ban on masks in Hong Kong has only led to more protests and violence. The only thing more predictable was that the Hong Kong police would use the mask ban as an excuse to brutalize even more people, whether involved in a protest or not.

The Hong Kong police are out looking for people to beat. This young couple is walking down the street minding their own business, not protesting, not in a large gathering, completely innocent. The mask ban allow police officers to ask people to remove their masks for identification in such a situation. What is does not allow police to do is to tackle them to the ground, injuring them, and putting their knees into their backs. And look who is wearing masks and in a large group. Yeah, it’s the Hong Kong police. But of course, the mask ban doesn’t apply to them. It’s too ironic.

What’s worse is that when the Hong Kong police leadership is shown this video, they will shamelessly deny that there is any problem at all with the behavior of the police. Since they know they will never be held to account, the police act more and more brutally. It is time for sanctions against members of the Hong Kong government and police leadership. The U.S. needs to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act as soon as possible and invoke the Magnitsky Act against them immediately.

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