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Posts tagged as “human rights”

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 Carrie Lam may have withdrawn the extradition bill that started the demonstrations, but everyone knows that the CCP will do whatever it wants, regardless of what any law says.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.

More Unbearable Tragedy in Hong Kong

Less than an hour before this post is being written, the Hong Kong police have again shot a young demonstrator. It was captured on live video. It is clear that the demonstrator was completely unarmed. There was no reason whatsoever for the shooting.

WARNING: This live video is extremely disturbing.

At this point, we have not seen any reports on the identity or the condition of the demonstrator, but judging from the photos from the scene, it looks very dire. Reports are that two teenage demonstrators have been shot.

As if anyone needed more evidence that the Hong Kong police are completely out of control, here is video of them just randomly firing teargas at people as they leave an area.

As ridiculous as this is, it is nothing compared to shooting teenage demonstrators at near point blank range. All of humanity should be outraged at what is happening in Hong Kong now. It is horrific, unleashed by the totalitarian evil of the Chinese Communist Party. Since its founding, the CCP has murdered more people than any other regime in the history of humanity. They would have you believe that they are different now. They are not. If anything, with their increasingly sophisticated use of technology, they have become more adept at oppression and murder. The CCP is a clear and present danger to all of humanity. It must be deposed.

The Price of Freedom

It is a tragic fact that securing and maintaining freedom for people is costly, in time, in treasure, and in life itself. There are always those that for their own selfish reasons – power, money, misguided ideology, or just an evil heart – want to take away the natural, God-given rights of all human beings. In opposing such people, there are some – always too many – that will be injured or even lose their lives; they are martyrs for the cause of freedom and human rights.

Usually, those that pay the ultimate price, losing their lives in the never-ending struggle for human rights and freedom are members of the military and first responders, but sometimes – always too often – members of the general public become martyrs as well.

In the struggle by the Hong Kong people to protect their rights, many, many have been injured, beaten, tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, even raped and shot by the brutal Hong Kong police. This week a young university student, Alex Chow Tsz-lok , just 22 years old, died after falling from the 3rd level to the 2nd level of a parking garage, in the midst of the police clearance action. The circumstances leading to his death are unclear. Security cameras video that has been released apparently did not capture the exact moment that he fell. Naturally, the police have denied any involvement. Naturally, the demonstrators blame the police, as almost no one in Hong Kong trusts the police any more. Demands for a completely independent investigation into the actions of the police during the demonstrations have intensified. Few believe that the current mechanisms and organizations for investigating police misconduct and brutality that currently exist in Hong Kong are adequate. They have little or no real investigative or prosecutorial power and are part of the police power structure, so they are not independent and are unlikely to return impartial results from any investigation that they do. The people of Hong Kong are demanding, as they have for weeks now, a completely independent and impartial investigation by an agency that has the power to compel testimony and to prosecute police misconduct.

Regardless of the cause of Alex Chow Tsz-lok’s death, he is a martyr to the cause of human rights and freedom in Hong Kong. The people know that, and are honoring him:

No rational person wishes for violence, but as long as there are those that want to take away rights and freedom, they must be resisted. Let’s all hope that the CCP and Hong Kong government and police regain their senses, and that the people of Hong Kong’s struggle to maintain their rights and freedom is won.

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.

You Can’t Argue About the Law in Here! This is a Courtroom!

One of the primary reasons that China cannot be trusted as a business or trade partner, and also one of the primary reasons that it is one of the world’s foremost violators of human rights, is because China does not have a free, fair, and independent legal system. There is no effective rule of law in China; rather, legal decisions are based on what CCP bosses or other influential people want them to be. Judges are entirely beholden to the CCP, and often do not have any legal training whatsoever. On top of that, the Chinese reliance on guan xi (关系) – a term that is hard to translate, but roughly means relationships, connections, and influence – for solving problems and decision making makes the legal system incredibly corrupt. Declarations of guilt or innocence, who is right or wrong in contract negotiations, and so on, depend as much or more on guan xi as they do on what the law actually says or on the facts and evidence at hand.

To be sure, China does have laws, and when non-Chinese read the laws (translated), they often even sound good and right. The problem is that the laws are not fairly or evenly enforced, not just because of the guan xi issue we described above, but also because lawyers are themselves often charged with crimes for advocating for their clients!

Read this heartbreaking story from the Hong Kong Free Press.

Stories like this are all too common in China. Lawyers who advocate for their clients’ rights are often arrested and disappeared – held incommunicado for months or years, with no contact with their families or their own lawyers.

[Lawyer] Yu [Wensheng] was detained in Beijing in January 2018 in front of his young son after he wrote an open letter calling for constitutional reforms, including multi-candidate elections.
He was later charged with “inciting subversion of state power”.

Hong Kong Free Press article

Human rights lawyers are especially targeted by the CCP, as was the case here, and charged with nonsense crimes like “inciting subversion of state power” or “subverting public order” – the usual kind of things that fascist dictatorships make up to give legal cover to their oppression and abuse. However, lawyers in other kinds of cases, like contract disputes between Chinese companies and western companies, have also been targeted, if they happen to argue too effectively or vociferously for their foreign client’s rights and interests. Western companies doing business in China should not expect to be treated fairly or in accordance with the law if they happen to get into a dispute with a Chinese company.

This is all part and parcel of the CCP’s oppression of human rights in China. It is why the people of Hong Kong are so vehemently opposed to the (now withdrawn) extradition bill that would allow Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to mainland China for “trial.” The CCP simply cannot be trusted – for many reasons, not least of which is that there is no rule of law in China. China’s abominable treatment of lawyers is one more proof of that.

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.

Senator Ted Cruz Visits Hong Kong

Today, Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in Hong Kong investigating what is happening there and supporting the pro-democracy demonstrations.

Senator Cruz was apparently scheduled to meet Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, but when he arrived in Hong Kong was told that the meeting was cancelled.

Cruz said, and we agree with him:

What I have encouraged the protest leaders with whom I have spoken is to embrace non-violent protest, to follow the tradition of Gandhi in India and Dr Martin Luther King in the United States.
That can be difficult to carry out, it can be particularly difficult in the face of violent oppression by government forces, of police beatings and shootings.

Senator Ted Cruz, speaking to the South China Morning Post

We are gratified that prominent members of the U.S. government are standing with Hong Kong’s fight for human rights and freedom, and encouraging non-violent protests. We believe that much of the violence that we’ve seen in Hong Kong has been encouraged, if not out-right committed, by CCP agitators embedded in the protests and in the Hong Kong police force.

As Senator Cruz said during his interview:

There is a reason the Communist Party in China wants the Hong Kong protests to turn violent because the Chinese Communist Party very much wants to characterise these protests as violent acts of terrorism rather than democracy protesters standing up for human rights

Senator Ted Cruz, speaking to the South China Morning Post

Violence at the demonstrations plays into the CCP propaganda machine’s hands, and Beijing’s propagandists have made use of the violence that has occurred to try to paint the protesters as rioters destroying Hong Kong for no rational reason. Anyone paying attention knows that those accusations are false, but the CCP cares nothing for the truth. If a lie promotes their agenda, they will use it.

We again encourage Congress to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and the TAIPEI Act as soon as possible. The CCP’s assault on freedom and human rights must be halted.

Full House in Shanghai for NBA Pre-Season Game

Well, this has got to be a little embarrassing for the CCP…

On the other hand, we all know that the CCP is incapable of feeling shame, so maybe not.

In any case, all the fire and brimstone cast down on the NBA and other companies by the CCP, as usual, is just a lot of hot air. The actions of Chinese people tell the real story. The CCP can bluster and bully all they want, but they don’t represent the majority of the Chinese people. Only around 6.5% of the Chinese people are CCP members. The CCP has an outsized voice, because it controls the Chinese media, but U.S. and international companies doing business in China need to realize that if a product is popular there, the Chinese people will get it, one way or another. Companies don’t have to, and should not, kowtow to the CCP’s demands. Have moral courage and be smart.

The Love of Money

Have you heard the phrase “the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil?” That phrase comes from the book of 1st Timothy in the Bible. Whether or not you believe the Bible, the wisdom in that verse and the preceding verse are undeniable.

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

1st Timothy 6:9,10a New International Version

We are seeing the reality of that all over the world right now. Several companies, from Apple to Blizzard Entertainment to the NBA to Google to Vans, have kowtowed to the CCP in order to continue stay in the good graces of the brutal, totalitarian Chinese Communist Party, so that they can continue to sell products and services in China.

We are reminded of another verse full of wisdom:

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Matthew 16:26 New International Version

There is nothing wrong with making money and being successful through honest hard work, risk taking, smart investing, and so on. Money is not evil, per se. But the love of moneygreed – is evil, because leads to bad decisions and moral compromises that endanger not only the greedy person or organization, but also the many, many other people affected by those bad decisions and moral compromises made for the love of money.

Selling out to the evils of the Chinese Communist Party, being willfully blind to the horrors it has perpetrated on humanity, are a prime example of this. Not only is it wrong morally, but in the long run, it is bad business. By at first kowtowing to the CCP, then backtracking and saying they support free speech, the NBA has alienated both their Chinese fan base, and their U.S. and international fan base. The same kind of thing is happening to other U.S. companies that kowtow to the CCP’s bullying. There is a price to be paid for being complicit in clear evil.

The NBA has said that they support free speech, and we respect that. Still, fans are being removed from pre-season games for showing support for Hong Kong and the Hong Kong people’s fight for freedom and human rights.

Let’s hope that the NBA and all American companies realize that they must not give in to greed and stand up against evil and for good. It is the moral and smart thing to do.

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