Breaking: Lord Patten calls Occupy trial verdict "appallingly divisive", as the trial is condemned by German Human Rights Committee members

Breaking: Lord Patten calls Occupy trial verdict "appallingly divisive", as the trial is condemned by German Human Rights Committee members 

On 9 April 2019, 9 leaders of the Occupy Central Movement were found guilty of a range of charges including incitement to public nuisance, incitement to incite public nuisance and conspiracy to public nuisance.

Lord Patten of Barnes, the last UK Governor of Hong Kong, responded to this decision, saying:

"At a time when most people would have thought that the aim of the Hong Kong Government should be to bring the whole community together it seems appallingly divisive to use anachronistic common law charges in a vengeful pursuit of political events which took place in 2014."

His comments were echoed by members of the German Bundestag Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid. 

Gyde Jensen, the Committee Chair said:

"It is alarming that human rights activists and pro-democracy leaders are increasingly at risk in Hong Kong. We cannot accept that protestors are intimidated when they exercise their right to freedom of expression and to peaceful demonstration."

Martin Patzelt, CDU member of the Committee and the Committee Rapporteur for freedom of expression said:

"I condemn the use of outdated and bad legislation against proponents of democratic values and principles. The laws were already severely criticised by the United Nations Human Rights Committee for curtailing freedom of expression. As rapporteur for freedom of the press and expression I believe strongly that freedom of expression is an important asset that needs to be protected. This kind of intimations against people demonstrating from freedoms harm the positive development of Hong Kong. 

I appeal to China to comply with their commitments and preserve the high degree of autonomy including an independent judiciary, freedom of the press and freedom of expression. I therefore demand of China the immediate stop this campaign of political prosecution by the Hong Kong government and demand from the international community support of the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong."

These comments follow a previous UK Parliamentary motion signed by 19 MPs in November in which British Members of Parliament condemned the “use of vague and ambiguous common law charges apparently intended to intimidate and silence pro-democracy figures” in Hong Kong.

See the motion here: https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/52305

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