German Human Rights Chair condemns Chinese interference in Hong Kong, says acquittal of Edward Leung is no sign of relief
On 22 March 2019, Gyde Jensen MP, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid of the German Parliament (Bundestag) made a statement, saying:
”The export of China's authoritarian impulse to the semi-autonomous Hong Kong region is an expression of China's arbitrary claim to power. The acquittal of the young activist Edward Leung [following his retrial] does nothing to change this, especially as he has to remain imprisoned after his previous trial. Civil society in Hong Kong should be commended for their great courage and notable political commitment in face of the threat of repression."
Ms Jensen's statement comes after discussion in the Committee about the deterioration of Human rights and Hong Kong’s autonomy. Two other members of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, Margarete Bause and Martin Patzelt, signed a separate joint statement with 9 other MPs from different countries earlier about the infringement of human rights in Edward Leung's case.
The new outspokenness of members of the German Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid follows news that the European Union will weigh a more defensive strategy towards China, signalling a possible end to the unfettered access Chinese business has enjoyed in Europe due to Beijing's failure to reciprocate. Reuters stated that “Germany’s views will be important” in this as Berlin has always been more outspoken on unfair trade with China.
The statement also comes on the same day that a new United States government report signalled that increased meddling from China in Hong Kong, and the erosion of human rights, had adversely impacted the city, straining international business confidence in the Asian financial hub. The report implied that if the situation significantly worsens, then the Hong Kong's privileges under the US-Hong Kong Policy Act may be in jeopardy.
Original Statement in German:
JENSEN: Freispruch Leungs kein Zeichen der Entspannung
Zum Freispruch des Hong-Kong Aktivisten Edward Leung erklärt die Ausschussvorsitzende für Menschenrechte und humanitäre Hilfe, Gyde Jensen:
"Der Export von Chinas Überwachungsreflexen auf die halb-autonome Region Hong-Kong sind Ausdruck des willkürlichen chinesischen Machtanspruchs. Der Freispruch des jungen Aktivisten Edward Leung ändert daran nichts, zumal dieser unter einem weiteren Vorwand aus einem anderen Verfahren weiter in Haft bleiben muss. Es ist ein Ausdruck großen Mutes, dass es immer noch eine aktive Zivilgesellschaft trotz drohender Repression gibt und diese sich merkbar politisch engagiert."