IPAC LEGISLATORS VOW TO HOLD HK OFFICIALS LEGALLY ACCOUNTABLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN HONOUR OF TIANANMEN MASSACRE VICTIMS
The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) has called for governments to audit assets held by Chinese and Hong Kong officials abroad to pave the way for targeted economic sanctions against those responsible for violations of international law in Hong Kong.
The measures were announced as part of IPAC’s Hong Kong Legal Accountability Campaign, launched in honour of the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre on its 33rd anniversary.
The video features IPAC parliamentarians representing 12 legislatures, including the EU Parliament’s liaison on China, Reinhard Bütikofer MEP, former leader of the UK’s Conservative Party Sir Iain Ducan Smith, Japanese LDP’s Rep Akihisa Nagashima and the Chairs of Foreign Affairs Committees in Czechia, New Zealand, Senator Pavel Fischer and Simon O’Connor.
The statement calls for governments to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for violations of international law in Hong Kong “to honour the memory of those who suffered under the brutality of the Chinese government both in Hong Kong and in China”, saying that “those who abuse human rights cannot be allowed to store their wealth freely on our shores. We will step up our campaign for our governments to sanction those who are responsible for the brutal crackdowns in Hong Kong.”
Echoing Hong Kong Watch’s recent report into overseas assets held by high ranking Hong Kong officials, the statement also calls for an urgent audit of the financial assets of Chinese and Hong Kong officials. IPAC commits to ensuring that those who are responsible for the crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement are sanctioned.
The statement also notes that this year’s June 4th anniversary has particular significance given recent efforts by the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities to crack down on the public commemoration of the anniversary:
“This year, for the first time, commemorating June Fourth in Hong Kong has been officially defined as illegal. Prominent political figures like Jimmy Lai and Joshua Wong are in prison for attending June Fourth Vigils.”
“Trying to erase the memory of 1989 is bound to fail.The spirit of Tiananmen lives on in the hearts and minds of those continuing the struggle. Both in China, Hong Kong and across the world.”
Miriam Lexmann MEP (European Union, EPP) commented:
“As Beijing continues to stifle Hong Kong’s civil society and violate Hongkongers’ fundamental rights and attempts to erase the history of the June Fourth Massacre, Europe has to move beyond empty hand-wringing and hold the Chinese Communist Party to account.
If Europe vows to uphold human rights, it should be reflected in our policies. European governments should further scrutinise exports of dual-use goods or technology that can be used for surveillance of Hong Kong. ”
Rep Samuel Cogolati (Belgium / Eco) Commented:
“This is the first year the Hong Kong government has officially made commemorating June Fourth illegal. It marks another new low for the crackdown on civil society in the city and the Hong Kong government’s violation of its international obligations.
We must resort to legal means to hold Beijing and the Hong Kong government accountable for their abuses. Individual sanctions should be posed on those who are responsible for stifling Hongkongers and asset audits should be carried out as soon as possible.”
A full copy of the statement is included below.
- The video statement will be published on the IPAC Twitter page at 13:00 BST : twitter.com/ipacglobal
- A copy of the statement and a full list of those participating in the video are attached below.
- In 2020, the Hong Kong government refused to approve HKA to use Victoria Park to hold a June 4 rally on the grounds of the epidemic. Jimmy Lai, Joshua Wong and Hang Tung Chow and Gwyneth Ho, were charged with “inciting others to participate in an unauthorised public gathering”, “holding an unauthorised assembly” and “knowingly participating in an unauthorised assembly” for their participation in 2020, and were sentenced to 4.5 months to 14 months. Chow was also charged with inciting others to knowingly and unlawfully participate in an unauthorised assembly and was sentenced to 15 months in prison for promoting and calling for participation in the June 4 Rally in 2021. In 2021, Carrie Lam and John Lee announced that commemorating June Fourth is illegal under the national security law.
- The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China is an international cross-party group of legislators pushing for democratic countries to take a tougher stance on China, comprising 200 legislators across 24 legislatures. A full list of IPAC members and other information is available at www.ipac.global.
IPAC STATEMENT ON 33RD ANNIVERSARY OF TIANANMEN MASSACRE
33 years ago today, the Chinese government ordered troops to open fire upon thousands of peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators.
The PRC government denies the Tiananmen Massacre took place.
It remains one of the most sensitive and most widely censored topics in China.
Hong Kong used to be the one place under Beijing’s rule where public commemorations of June Fourth could take place.
This year, for the first time, commemorating June Fourth in Hong Kong has been officially defined as illegal.
Prominent political figures like Jimmy Lai and Joshua Wong are in prison for attending June Fourth Vigils.
Trying to erase the memory of 1989 is bound to fail.
The spirit of Tiananmen lives on in the hearts and minds of those continuing the struggle.
Around the world,to honour the memory of those who suffered under the brutality of the Chinese government both in Hong Kong and in China
IPAC is launching its Legal Accountability Campaign.
Those who abuse human rights cannot be allowed to store their wealth freely on our shores.
We will step up our campaign for our governments to sanction those who are responsible for the brutal crackdowns in Hong Kong.
And we will explore new ways international law can be leveraged to hold Hong Kong’s oppressors to account.
Finally, we will campaign for our governments to further scrutinise and limit exports of dual-use goods to Hong Kong.
We refuse to allow our products to take part in the surveillance and repression of Hong Kongers.
Though the candles will not be lit in Victoria Park this year, the flame of Tiananmen will continue to burn across the world.
Through our accountability project, we will work to ensure those flames burn even brighter.
We stand resolutely with the people of China and Hong Kong in their desire for freedom.
- Gyde Jensen MdB, Chair of the Bundestag Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid;
- Rep Samuel Cogolati, the Vice-Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee;
- Rep Akihisa Nagashima, Ranking Member of the House Committee on National Security;
- Žygimantas Pavilionis MP, former Ambassador to the United States and Mexico;
- Elizabet Lann, Deputy Mayor for the Christian Democrats in Gothenburg, Sweden;
- David Lega MEP, member of the Christian Democrats part of the EPP;
- Dovilė Šakalienė MP, former CEO of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute;
- Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP, Former leader of the Conservative Party;
- Irwin Cotler, former Attorney General of Canada;
- Garnett Genuis MP, Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism and also for Canada-China relations;
- Sen. Hélène Conway-Mouret, French academic and politician of the Socialist Party (PS)
- Sen. André Gattolin, Vice-President of the European Affairs Committee.
- Sen. Pavel Fischer, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security;
- Miriam Lexmann MEP, Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs;
- Uffe Elbæk MP, former Minister of Culture of Denmark ;
- Simon O’Connor MP, chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee of New Zealand;
- Reinhard Bütikofer MEP, former party leader of the Alliance 90/The Greens.