Hong Kong Watch gravely concerned by the 'political' disqualification of Agnes Chow


Lord Alton of Liverpool, a crossbench peer and a patron of Hong Kong Watch, and Benedict Rogers, Chairman of Trustees at Hong Kong Watch, today shared concerns about the legality of the disqualification of Agnes Chow ahead of the upcoming by-election in March.

Lord Alton said that: 

‘Agnes Chow is a law-abiding 21-year-old who has committed no crime. Her commitment to democracy and human rights should be celebrated rather than punished.’

Benedict Rogers, Chairman of Trustees at Hong Kong Watch, added that:

‘We are consulting legal experts about Agnes' case and have grave concerns that it may constitute a violation of Hong Kong’s Basic Law. We fear that the government of Hong Kong may be abusing the legal system for political gain, by undermining pro-democracy voices. Agnes Chow is one of the most courageous political activists in Hong Kong. She deserves admiration, not disqualification.’ 

 ‘Agnes Chow’s disqualification is yet another example of the erosion of freedom of expression and the political rights of Hong Kong people. It is against the spirit of Basic Law for an administrative official to be granted the power to seemingly arbitrarily disqualify candidates for election.’ 

 ‘Our legal analysts, including our patron Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, the chief prosecutor in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic are considering the technicalities of the case. We hope to release an in-depth analysis of the disqualification of lawmakers and candidates in the coming months.’ 

‘We welcome the news today that Professor Edward Yiu will be allowed to contest the by-elections, despite previous rumours that he could be disqualified. We hope that the Hong Kong Government and the Central Government in Beijing will have noted the expression of public opinion in the protests yesterday, and will now allow the by-elections to proceed without any further disqualifications or other interference.’