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Press Release: World Uyghur Congress Condemns Sentencing of Pro-Democracy Activists

Press Release: World Uyghur Congress Condemns Sentencing of Pro-Democracy Activists

Press Release – For Immediate Release 
30 May 2024 
Contact: World Uyghur Congress www.uyghurcongress.org
+49 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

The World Uyghur Congress strongly condemns the sentencing of 14 pro-democracy activists by a Hong Kong high court in the largest case under the National Security Law (NSL) imposed by China in 2020. The 14 Hong Kong pro-democracy figures, including opposition lawmakers, are among 47 individuals convicted of the crime of “subversion of state power” in 2021 and found guilty for participating in the primary elections. They could face life imprisonment.

“It is no surprise that China uses the NSL to silence dissidents, but the sentencing is furthermore evident of the systematic erosion of democracy, fundamental freedoms, and the shrinking space of civil society under the CCP,” says WUC President Dolkun Isa. ‘’The Chinese Communist Party legitimises its crackdown on freedom under the pretext of national security and unity, including in East Turkistan.’’

The NSL was passed after pro-democracy protests erupted in Hong Kong in 2019, following China’s introduction of an extradition bill that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial. Under the NSL, ‘collusion, terrorism, secession, and subversion’ are criminal offences punishable with a life sentence.

The World Uyghur Congress stands in solidarity with the pro-democracy figures and demands their immediate release. The WUC furthermore calls on the international community, including the European Commission, to act and impose sanctions on those responsible. The erosion of democracy, fundamental freedoms, and the global rules-based order needs to be addressed urgently. Particularly with the upcoming global elections, including EU elections, democratic governments need to hold China accountable for its continuous attack on democracy and disregard for human rights.