|Hong Kong: Government Must Stop the Indiscriminate and Violent Crackdown against Demonstrators|
|Date : 2019-11-07 Hit : 617|
Hong Kong: Government Must Stop the Indiscriminate and Violent Crackdown against Demonstrators
The May 18 Memorial Foundation along with Gwangju civil society organizations are seriouslyexpress its concerns over the deteriorating human rights situation in Hong Kong. The May 18 Memorial Foundation and Gwangju civil society unanimouslyr elease a press statement that Hong Kong Government must immediately stop violent crackdown against demonstrators and guarantee freedom of expression and freedom of assembly in Hong Kong.
Joint Statementof Gwangju Civil Society
Tragedy struck in Hong Kong on October 1, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’sRepublic of China. A fifth-grade secondary school boy participating in ademonstration was shot by police on the same day as the ‘Day of Mourning’event, held in memory of those killed by state violence. According to thefootage released, Hong Kong police fired the shot while confronting protesters,and the stricken student was seriously injured, requiring surgery to extractthe bullet. In addition, the government-authorized violence by Hong Kong policeis escalating, with police known to have fired warning shots with live ammunition. There has also been vivid testimony of the shame and horror ofsexual abuse by the police force and increased suspicion of murder after a15-year-old girl was found drowned.
Police in Hong Kong have admitted to firing live ammunition but have not made any official apology. Instead, they labelled theprotesters as ‘rioters’ and firmly insisted that police officers felt threatened surrounded by protesters. The incident is a shocking reminder of the indiscriminate suppression of protesters by the Hong Kong police, which hasbeen criticized steadily. The shooting of a teenager by Hong Kong police, whowas hit in the chest just 3 centimeters away from his heart, was an aggressiveact that no words could justify.
Gwangju civil society, including Gwangju citizens,Gwangju civic groups, and political parties, have past experience of both the oppression of public power and the associated fear and have also fought for human rights through the candlelight assembly, the May 18 Democratic Uprising, andthe 1987 June Struggle. “We are seriously concerned about the violent crack down by the Hong Kong police, and urge the police to apologize immediately and investigate not only this incident but also various other acts of violence and suspicious deaths. In addition, we call the Hong Kong police to stop the violent suppression of demonstrations and to guarantee citizens’ freedom of expression and freedom of demonstration”.
Although Hong Kong’s administrative minister hasofficially presented the withdrawal of the repatriation law, Hong Kong citizens are determined to continue their protests, demanding the formal withdrawal ofthe repatriation law, an independent investigation into the police crackdown,the withdrawal of the label “rioter”, unconditional release and pardon ofarrested protesters, and the direct election of the administrative minister. Despite the reduced size, many citizens are still actively joining to protest for Hong Kong’s future and democracy. Amid this situation, the freedom of expression and assembly of Hong Kong citizens is under severe suppression dueto the excessive violent crackdown and ban on rallies and marches by the Hong Kong police. Since the June 9 protest of one million people, the number of demonstrators arrested by police has exceeded 2,500, and on the October 1protest, a reported 66 were injured and 180 arrested. To date, Hong Kong police have indiscriminately cracked down on protesters by wielding batons and firing thousands of rubber bullets and tear gas and responded excessively by firing water cannons and shooting warning shots with live ammunition following the dispatch of commandos. The intensifying protests are due to such overreaction bythe police.
The government should no longer respond to the anger ofHong Kong citizens with violence. The Hong Kong and Chinese governments shouldface up to the reasons why citizens’ demands for democracy and human rights continue even following the withdrawal of the repatriation law, and listen tothe voices of their citizens voluntarily coming out to the streets. Thegovernment also needs to swiftly respond to the “white terror” against thepan-democratic camp that led the rally as well as to unconditionally releaseand pardon the arrested protesters and begin an independent investigation overthe police crackdown. In the process, the basic rights, freedom of expressionand freedom of assembly should be guaranteed above all else.
Gwangju civilsociety wishes a swift recovery for all the injured, including the injuredstudent, and expresses strong solidarity with the resistance of Hong Kong citizens for democracy and human rights.
Gwangju Civil Society in Solidaritywith the Hong Kong
Gwangju Conference on Human Rights (Siloam People, Gjwomenlink, Gwangju WelfareSympathy Plus, Gwangju Human Rights Keeper ‘Hwal-Jjak’, Gwangju Citizens’Community for Society without Academic Clique) Gwangju Solidarity Against DisabilityDiscrimination (Traffic Service Workers Union of Gwangju and Jeonnam, Muscular Dystrophy Association of Gwangju, Gwangju Human Rights Keeper ‘Hwal-Jjak’,Disabled Women Solidarity of Gwangju, Gwangju Disabled Family WelfareAssociation, Gwangju Association for the Education Rights for Disabilities,Gwangju Parents’ Network for People with Disabilities, Gwangju Center for Independent Living, Gwangju Welfare Association for Disabilities, Gwangju Nanum Center for Independent Living of Persons with Disabilities, Labor Party-Gwangju City, Siloam people, Oulim Center for Independent Living of Disabilities, ObangCenter for Independent Living of Disabilities, Yegrina Welfare Center for Disabilities, Culture & Tourism Center for Disabilities, Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union-Gwangju Branch, Justice Party-Gwangju City, KoreaBrain Disorder Association-Gwangju Branch, Hanmaum Center for IndependentLiving of Disabilities) Gwangju Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination (Gwangju Women Workers Association, Gjwomenlink, Gwangju Women’s Center, Gwangju Women’s Human Rights Support Center, Disabled Women Solidarityof Gwangju, Gwangju Women’s Hotline, Gwangju Women’s Association, and JeonnamDisabled Women Solidarity) Gwangju Education Hope Network, The Civic Alliancefor Supporting Female Forced Labor Victims, Bereaved Families Association ofMay 18 Democratic Patriots, May 18 Democratic Movement Victims Association, May18 Confined and Injured Association, The May 18 Memorial Foundation, Gwangju-Jeonnam Democratic Movement Association,Gwangju-Jeonnam Solidarity Conference of National Democratic Martyrs Commemorate Organization, Gwangju April 19 Democratic Movement Memorial Association, Habsoo Yun Hanbong Memorial Association, Deulbul Martyr Memorial Association.
Gwangju Basic Income Party, Labor Party-Gwangju City,Green Party-Gwangju City, Justice Party-Gwangju City
Date: October 29 2019