US Condemns Hong Kong Authorities for Placing Bounties on Pro-Democracy Activists

US Condemns Hong Kong Authorities for Placing Bounties on Pro-Democracy Activists

Secretary of State Antony Blinken calls for international opposition to “transnational repression

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has strongly condemned the Hong Kong authorities for placing bounties on five pro-democracy activists based overseas, including a US citizen. The bounties, amounting to 1 million Hong Kong dollars ($128,000), were announced by Hong Kong authorities under the territory’s national security law. Blinken denounced this move as a disregard for international norms and human rights, urging the international community to stand against “transnational repression.” The United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, also criticized Hong Kong’s actions, labeling them a threat to democracy and fundamental human rights.

Bounties on Pro-Democracy Activists Spark Outrage

The announcement of bounties on pro-democracy activists by Hong Kong authorities has triggered widespread condemnation and outrage. The five activists targeted are Joey Siu, Simon Cheng, Frances Hui, Johnny Fok, and Tony Choi. They are all wanted under Hong Kong’s national security law, which claims jurisdiction over the entire planet. These activists have been advocating for democracy and civil liberties in Hong Kong from abroad, following a crackdown on dissent in the city. The bounties serve as a stark reminder of the erosion of human rights in Hong Kong and the lengths to which the authorities are willing to go to silence opposition.

US Secretary of State Stands Up for Human Rights

Secretary Blinken expressed strong opposition to the intimidation and silencing of individuals who have sought refuge in the United States. He emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to defending the rights and freedoms of those targeted for exercising their human rights. Blinken called on the international community to join the US in condemning this act of “transnational repression.” The statement also urged the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to act in a manner consistent with its international commitments and legal obligations.

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UK Joins the Condemnation

The United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, echoed Blinken’s criticism, describing Hong Kong authorities’ actions as a threat to democracy and fundamental human rights. The UK has been vocal in its support for pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and has granted asylum to several individuals, including Simon Cheng and Tony Choi. Cameron’s condemnation highlights the global concern over the erosion of freedoms and the rule of law in Hong Kong.

Activists Vow to Continue the Fight

Despite the bounties and the threats they face, the targeted activists remain resolute in their commitment to the cause. Joey Siu, who holds US citizenship, declared that she would “never be silenced” and “never back down.” Frances Hui, who was granted asylum in the US in 2021, stated that her advocacy for democracy and freedom would not stop. Simon Cheng, who was granted asylum by the UK government in 2020, described the charges against him as an “honour.” Their determination serves as a testament to the resilience of those fighting for democracy and human rights.

Amnesty International Condemns Hong Kong Authorities

Amnesty International, a leading human rights organization, condemned the bounties as evidence of the Hong Kong authorities’ systematic dismantling of human rights. The organization stated that the bounties marked the official expansion of Hong Kong’s repression beyond its borders. Amnesty International’s criticism underscores the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for international action to address the erosion of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong.

Conclusion:

The placing of bounties on pro-democracy activists by Hong Kong authorities has sparked international condemnation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron have both called on the international community to oppose this act of “transnational repression.” The determination of the targeted activists to continue their fight for democracy and human rights is a testament to their resilience. As the erosion of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong continues, it is crucial for the international community to take a stand and ensure that the principles of democracy and human rights are upheld.

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