Without human Rights, How Can We Celebrate “National Day”? Stop the crackdown on dissidents; give us our freedom
1 October 2020
The Chinese Communist Party has been in power for 71 years now—71 years of suffering for the Chinese people. Before coming to power, the Party promised to make China a democratic, free, prosperous and strong country, but it fooled hundreds of thousands of patriots into sacrificing themselves for the nation. For the first 30 years after the establishment of the regime, class struggle was the main focus and mass political campaigns were frequent. Economic policy was poorly devised, leading to famine and death.
In the following 10 years, the regime enacted economic reform but remained totalitarian. It cracked down on demands for change, leading to the fall of liberal state leaders Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang and eventually the bloodshed of the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre. In the subsequent 31 years, corruption has been rampant and uneven wealth distribution serious. Underprivileged groups are squeezed by those in power. Ethics and morality have collapsed. Human rights defenders and dissidents are detained and imprisoned. The whole country lives under white terror. There are simply no human rights. Under Xi Jinping’s dictatorship, 1.4 billion people are living in a society without human rights or dignity. What is there to celebrate?
Today is what the Party calls “National Day”. But over the past 71 years, many have been ruthlessly imprisoned and tortured simply for expressing their political views. Countless people are still detained for their speech. On this day we should feel outrage rather than joy,. Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China and other organizations are particularly concerned about the Chinese and Hong Kong activists facing so-called “national security” charges. While those in China endure the persecution of a totalitarian regime, we in Hong Kong experience the same fate.
Chinese dissidents suffer unbearable pain every day as the Chinese government uses the pretext of “national security” to crack down on them. In this year, Hongkongers have lost rule of law and experience diminishing freedoms. Since the central government forcibly imposed the Hong Kong national security law (officially the “Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region”) on 30 June 2020, dozens of individuals have been charged with so-called “national security” crimes. Twelve young people fleeing to Taiwan were taken to China. Hong Kong people’s freedoms are at greater risk than ever. Hong Kong people’s fate is even more interconnected with the Chinese people’s.
Many, diverse in age and background, desire democracy and freedom. They do not fear challenging the government despite dictatorship. They fight for democracy and share information about human rights. But their legal and legitimate actions and demands have been punished by the government with so-called “national security” charges. Their cases are only the tip of the iceberg in China. There are many unknown people persecuted by the regime.
The Hong Kong national security law has been in force for several months. Freedom of expression is drastically diminishing. Protest slogans are now interpreted by the Hong Kong government as violations of the national security law. The government creates red terror, attempts to silence dissenting views, and cracks down on dissidents. Hong Kong’s freedoms are quickly disappearing. Hong Kong people’s freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are seriously infringed.
We call on the Chinese and Hong Kong governments to stop whitewashing the daunting situation in China and Hong Kong and respond to the following requests:
Vindicate the 1989 pro-democracy movement and give victims’ families a fair explanation, apology and compensation;
Establish an independent commission to investigate the Tiananmen Massacre as well as police violence during the Anti-Extradition Bill protests in Hong Kong since last year;
Stop using “national security” as an excuse to ruthlessly destroy Hong Kong’s rule of law and freedom of expression;
Immediately release all detained Chinese and Hong Kong dissidents.
Signatories: （ updated on 30/9/2020）
Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China
April Fifth Action
Community service office of KS Lam
Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement
Tiananmen Mothers Campaign
Movement for Democracy in China (Calgary)
Friends of Conscience
China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group
League of social democrats
Tsing Yi Residents Rights and Interests Service Society
Hong Kong Social Workers` General Union
The Association for the Advancement of Feminism
The Democratic Party
Labour Party (Hong Kong)
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions
Office of Dr. Kwok Ka Ki, Legislative Council Member
Office of Tsang Kin Shing District Councillor
June 4th Action
Civil Human Rights Front
Hong Kong Christian Fellowship of Social Concern
Concerning CSSA and Low Income Alliance
Retail, Commerce and Clothing Industries General Union
Christian Social Workers
Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union
Concern the Future of Hong Kong