China is tightening its grip on Hong Kong and the territory’s autonomy and democratic freedoms are slipping away, a prominent Hong Kong activist told the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday in a plea for international action.
Interrupted twice by Dai Demao, first secretary of China’s mission to the U.N. in Geneva, Denise Ho in her speech urged the Human Rights Council to speak up in defense of the territory’s autonomy by holding a special session and consider suspending China’s membership in the 47-member forum.
We take notes of her speech as follows:
The Vienna Declaration guarantees democracy and human rights; yet in Hong Kong today, these are under serious attack.
Last month, two million people walked in peaceful protests, fighting an extradition bill that would remove the firewall protecting Hong Kong from interference of the Chinese government.
Police shot rubber bullets and one hundred fifty-two (interrupted by Chinese official) …against the protesters. Dozens were arrested; four people committed suicide as an ultimate cry of despair.
This anger of Hongkongers follows years of deceitful promises. Since the handover, we saw our autonomy slowly eroded.
Disqualification of six lawmakers, kidnappings of booksellers, and activists jailed are proof of China’s tightening grip. Real universal suffrage is still non-existent. With a Chief Executive Officer appointed and controlled by Beijing, China is preventing our democracy at all costs.
Mr. President, the Sino-British Joint Declaration is the binding treaty registered with the UN; yet after only 22 years, China is denying its obligations. The ‘One Country, Two Systems’ is nearing its death.
Protests are still on-going. (Interrupted again by Chinese official).
Will the United Nations convene an urgent session to protect the people of Hong Kong? Given its abuses, will the UN remove China from this Human Rights Council?
Edited by staff