Activists and academics set to gather outside UK Parliament in solidarity with imprisoned Hong Kong democracy activists
Hong Kong Cultural and Political Forum
On 28 September 2017, a group of activists and academics will gather outside the Houses of Parliament to mark the third anniversary of the Umbrella Revolution and to express solidarity with the pro-democracy protestors who have recently imprisoned or now face prosecution. Protestors will gather by the George V Statue between 1230 and 1400 PM.
Messages will be delivered from a number of Parliamentarians, including Lord Alton of Liverpool and Lord Patten of Barnes, the former Governor of Hong Kong. The following message from Lord Patten is set to be read out on the day:
“I am sorry I can';t be with you today. It is enormously important that the world outside Hong Kong continues to support the rule of law and the development of democracy in the city. We should also hold China to the promises that it has made. Those who have campaigned for democracy should continue to have our support and will, I am sure, do so. I am looking forward to meeting some of Hong Kong's student leaders in Oxford this Friday.”
Speeches will be delivered by Ray Wong Toi-yeung, the founder of the pressure group Hong Kong Indigenous; Benedict Rogers, Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission; Dr Malte Kaeding, Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Surrey, and an expert on Hong Kong; and Gray Sergeant, a human rights activist who specialises in East Asia.
Prior to the event, Benedict Rogers said: ‘It is a privilege to stand in solidarity with Hong Kong’s democracy activists. I know Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow personally, and their imprisonment – in violation of the principle of ‘double jeopardy’ which prevents a person being tried for the same crime twice - is a terrible miscarriage of justice. Of course they are not alone: thirteen others have been jailed, and many more face trial. Such injustice is an outrage: we will not be silent while Hong Kong’s freedoms are undermined.’
28 September is marked by Hong Kong’s democracy activists and human rights defenders as ‘928 Umbrella Movement Solidarity Day’. Alongside protesting outside Parliament at lunchtime, activists will be protesting outside the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in the evening where Catherine West MP and Benedict Rogers will be speaking.
Protestors in London will be joining protestors in Hong Kong and other parts of the world in voicing their discontent about the contraction of Hong Kong’s freedoms. This protest follows a similar protest which took place on 24 August 2017, outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and reflects the fact that there are a growing number of voices in the United Kingdom that are concerned about the fate of human rights, rule of law and freedom in Hong Kong. The protest on 24 August 2017 followed the signing of a joint letter by international politicians and parliamentarians including former British foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former leader of the UK Liberal Democrats Lord Ashdown, and Conservative MP Fiona Bruce. Benedict Rogers continued: ‘Under the Sino-British Joint Declaration the United Kingdom has a particular responsibility to speak out for freedom, human rights and democracy in Hong Kong. Britain owes it to the people of Hong Kong, and especially the younger generation, to protest these gross miscarriages of justice and the erosion of Hong Kong’s freedoms.’