Global Solidarity: Stop repression in Hong Kong – release the political prisoners
Hong Kong’s descent into repression and authoritarian rule has shocked the world. In the past year, and especially since Carrie Lam became Chief Executive in July 2017, Hong Kong has suffered a tsunami of repression with the jailing of 16 young democracy activists including prominent leaders of the 2014 Umbrella Movement, and the ousting of six elected legislators. With more trials and possibly even harsher jail sentences looming, Hong Kong’s hard won democratic rights are being shredded in the interests of the Chinese dictatorship which is simultaneously presiding over the most severe crackdown in China since the crushing of the 1989 mass democracy movement.
The increasing use of Hong Kong’s law courts as a tool of political repression makes a mockery of the government’s claim to uphold ‘rule of law’. This is part of a calculated agenda to roll back Hong Kong’s political freedoms and democratic rights. The Chinese regime evidently feels threatened that the mass democracy struggle in Hong Kong could spread to mainland China and inspire demands for democratic rights such as freedom of speech, elections, trade union rights and freedom of association.
We the undersigned express our full solidarity with the struggle for democratic rights in Hong Kong, China, and globally. We call for the release of the political prisoners and an end to the government’s repression. We protest the disqualification of the legislators – on spurious legal grounds (so-called “insincere” oath-taking) – which clearly had the aim of reversing government losses in the 2016 legislative elections and eliminating more radical legislators.
It is a standard response of the Chinese and Hong Kong governments to dismiss international criticism as “meddling” by “foreign forces”. Please note that the signatories to this petition are not representatives of governments or the privileged. We represent the people: labour, social and civil rights movements fighting on behalf of the oppressed and disenfranchised. It is therefore with the voice of ordinary people, which transcends national borders, that we call for an end to the political repression in Hong Kong.
Hundreds of activists from around the world have already signed our petition including the following:
UNITED STATES Noam Chomsky, historian, author and social activist. Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Councilmember, Socialist Alternative. IRELAND Members of Parliament (TDs) representing Solidarity-People Before Profit: Ruth Coppinger TD, Paul Murphy TD, Mick Barry TD, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Brid Smith TD, Gino Kenny TD. BRAZIL CSP-Conlutas national trade union confederation. DENMARK Søren Søndergaard, Member of Parliament and spokesperson on foreign affairs, Red-Green Alliance. GERMANY Members of Parliament representing DIE LINKE (Left Party): Simone Barrientos, Christine Buchholz, Sylvia Gabelmann, Sabine Leidig and Niema Movassat. Sabine Wackernagel, actress. Volker Lösch, Theater director. Thies Gleiss, Lucy Redler and Franziska Riekewald, members of DIE LINKE National Committee. INDONESIA Indonesian People’s United Resistance, political party, (PPRI – Pusat Perjuangan Rakyat Indonesia). KOBUMI (Komunitas Buruh Migran) Indonesian migrant workers’ organisation. MEXICO Lorenzo Rodríguez, General Secretary, Independent National Democratic Union of Agricultural Day Laborers. SOUTH AFRICA Mametlwe Sebei, President, General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA). FRANCE Stuart Russel, Director of International Association of People’s Lawyers Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers. MALAYSIA Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof, Chairperson, Malaysian Student Fronts Coalition (Kesatuan Mahasiswa Malaysia). SPAIN Juan Ignacio Ramos Gómez, Secretary General of Revolutionary Left (Izquierda Revolucionaria). Ana García Rubio, Secretary General of the Students’ Union (Sindicato de Estudiantes). Coral Latorre, Secretary General in Catalonia of the Students’ Union (Sindicato de Estudiantes). PAKISTAN Khubaib Ahmad, National Organiser, Campaign for Restoration of Student Unions in Pakistan. Tariq Shahzad, Secretary General of Barabri Party Pakistan (Equality Party). Hameed Channa, Secretary, Socialist Movement Sindh. SRI LANKA Siritunga Jayasuriya, General Secretary, United Socialist Party. CANADA Jean Swanson, veteran anti-poverty campaigner. BRITAIN Ian Hodson, National President, Bakers’, Food & Allied Workers Union. Helen Davies, National Executive Committee, UNISON. Paul Heron, Executive Committee member of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers. Alec Thraves, Vice President, Swansea Trade Union Council. GREECE Nikos Kanellis, Volos City Councillor, Xekinima/CWI. HONG KONG League of Social Democrats. Socialist Action. “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, disqualified former member of Legislative Council for League of Social Democrats. Nathan Law Kwun-chung, disqualified former member of Legislative Council for Demosisto and political prisoner. Edward Yiu Chung-yim, disqualified former member of Legislative Council. Shiu Ka-chun, member of Legislative Council. Mung Siu-tat, Chief Executive, Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU). Tam Leung-ying, Vice-chairperson, Labour Party. James Hon Lin-shan, Convenor, League in Defence of Hong Kong Freedom. Ng Chi-Fai, Chairman, Hong Kong Chef’s Union. SWEDEN Peter Dahlin, former Director of China Action. Yonggang Cui, exiled Chinese dissident. TURKEY Irem Güven, LGBTI Peace Initiative.