PRESS RELEASE: WUC Stands in Solidarity with Hong Kong Protestors

Press Release – For immediate release
12 June 2019
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
+49 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

The WUC wishes to express its support and solidarity with the people of Hong Kong exercising their right to freedom of assembly by taking to the streets to protest against the introduction of an extradition law that would be used to silence and oppress civil society in Hong Kong.

Over 1 million people marched and demonstrated on the streets of Hong Kong, in opposition to a proposed extradition law, which would allow for human rights activists and dissidents to be extradited to mainland China and prosecuted in China’s court system. They would certainly not receive a fair trial in the Chinese courts and would likely be given lengthily sentences for their activism. If this law is passed, it would be a major blow to the autonomy and freedom of the people of Hong Kong, who have reacted appropriately by demonstrating en masse.

Despite the massive number of demonstrators, Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam has stated that she intends to proceed with pushing through the extradition law. Instead of listening to the voice of the people of Hong Kong, the Chinese government and current authorities of Hong Kong are pushing ahead this dangerous law against the will of the people. The authorities also responded to the peaceful protest with violence, beating and dragging away some of the protestors in the area outside of the legislative offices.

These massive demonstrations were preceded by similarly impressive protests in Hong Kong on June 4th, where 180,000 people took to the streets to mark the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Further large-scale demonstrations against the extradition law are expected to take place on Wednesday, 12 June 2019, and local businesses have organized a one-day strike against the measure.

The WUC is encouraged by the mass mobilization of civil society in Hong Kong to defend their freedom and rights. The WUC would like to stress the interconnectivity of the situations of all ethnic and religious groups, as well as human rights and democracy activists in China. The mass arbitrary detention of over 1 million Uyghurs and the erosion of the basic rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong are both indications of the Chinese government’s complete intolerance for free expression, human rights or any critical voices.

Such a large demonstration, or any demonstration for that matter, would not have been allowed to take place in East Turkistan. Nearly all recent protests from the Uyghur people in East Turkistan have been met with violence, repression, enforced disappearances, summary executions and brutality.

“Uyghurs in East Turkistan been largely deprived of their right to freedom of assembly and expression or any means to express their frustration at the policies being taken by the Chinese government which has led to crimes against humanity being perpetrated against Uyghurs.” WUC President Dolkun Isa stated. “If the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong continue to be eroded, they too may soon be totally deprived of this basic right.”

There is an urgent need for all people under the rule of the CCP who yearn for their basic rights, freedoms and democracy to come together to demand an end to these repressive policies. Uyghurs, Tibetans, Taiwanese, Hong Kongers, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Han Chinese activists are all facing an absolutely critical situation. Our response must be urgent and unified to enact meaningful change and to improve the lives of all people living under the rule of the CCP.

The WUC is very encouraged by the mobilization of civil society in Hong Kong to stand up for their basic rights and freedoms. It gives hope to the Uyghur community and people around that the power of the people can stand up to even the most repressive dictatorships. The WUC stands with the people of Hong Kong and urges the Hong Kong authorities to listen to the voice of the people, at this critical point in their history.