One-Year Anniversary of the Anti-Extradition Law Protests in Hong Kong: Speech by Rahima Mahmud
On June 13, Rahima Mahmud, artist and WUC London office representative, spoke at an online rally organized by Democracy by Hong Kong and Stand with Hong Kong in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the anti-extradition law protests.
Please find Ms Mahmuds speech below:
I speak to you today, as a Uyghur human rights activist who has not been able to return home for the last 20 years, and who can no longer even phone her family there, for fear of what might happen to them. I speak to you because we Uyghurs recognise that Hong Kong and our Uyghur homeland face the same enemy, an enemy of basic human freedom.
This is not an enmity that either of us sought. We have watched, applauding your courage, as you opposed on the street, in the press, and at the ballot box, the imposition of the extradition law. In fear and trembling for you, we have watched your bravery as you continued to come out to oppose the new national security law. =
Both laws breach the legally binding international treaty, the Sino-British Joint Declaration, registered with the UN. China has broken its solemnly given word to the people of Hong Kong to follow the principle of “one country, two systems” and allow Hong Kong to maintain its freely chosen way of life. Just as it broke the words of its own constitution, which guaranteed the Uyghur people their cultural and religious freedom.
You have seen your lawyers, like Albert Ho and Martin Lee, arrested, alongside thousands of demonstrators; your journalists, like Chui Chin-Ming detained; and read the claims of thousands of unexplained deaths of young people as Hong Kong Police unleashed violent attacks, including sexual violence against women protestors.
We have seen our elderly people and our students, our academics, artists and lawyers imprisoned, tortured and murdered in concentration camps and our children removed from their families in a Genocide the like of which has not been seen since the end of World War 2.
We know how dangerous it can be for citizens to oppose a Chinese Communist Party that insists that its way, and only its way is right. And that is why we applaud your bravery in defying China with your commemoration of the Tiananmen square massacre this year, and in particular your rally in support of the Uyghurs at the end of last year.
That you should remember our afflictions in the middle of your own troubles moves me deeply and makes me ever more determined that what has happened to us in East Turkistan and to the Tibetans in Tibet should not be allowed to happen in Hong Kong. This is why, in my work and campaigning, interacting with politicians and parliamentarians across the world, I call not only for sanctions against officials and trade restrictions against companies with critical roles in the Uyghur genocide but for the same sanctions to be applied to those involved in the suppression of Hong Kong.
We stand with you, we fight for you and we remember you! Your struggle is our struggle and we believe that now, the rest of the world, is beginning to see it is their struggle too. Long Live Hong Kong!