Following the sentencing of Tong Ying-kit under Hong Kong's National Security Law, Lib Dem Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran has written to Dominic Raab urging the UK Government to step up.
Text of the letter:
The Rt Hon. Dominic Raab MP
Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
King Charles Street
London, SW1A 2AH
30 July 2021
Our ref: LM41103
Dear Foreign Secretary,
I am writing regarding the continuing crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong.
From the recent sentencing of Jimmy Lai and the closure of Apple Daily last month, to the investigation opened this week into the booing of the Chinese national anthem during a public screening of the Olympics, we are watching what were previously fundamental freedoms, guaranteed in the Basic Law - freedom of speech, the freedom of the press and freedom of association and assembly - disintegrating before our eyes as a result of the Chinese government’s actions.
Today, Tong Ying-kit was sentenced to 9 years in prison, marking the first time the National Security Law has been used in such a way. Over six years of his sentence is on the charge of ‘secession’ - for waving a flag which said, ‘Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times’. Similar slogans were displayed on the placards of many of those protesting the erosion of liberties in Hong Kong. Today’s judgement will raise huge concerns that this decision will be used as a precedent for potentially sentencing others who displayed this slogan. More broadly, this is proof, if needed, that free expression in Hong Kong has been wiped out by the actions of the CCP.
Clearly these actions contravene the Joint Declaration, which was signed by the Chinese government and the UK Government in 1984. This represents a breach of international law on the part of the Chinese government.
Now must be the time to act. I urge you to impose Magnitsky sanctions on those involved in the imposition of the National Security Law, and anyone else who is spearheading the eradication of liberties in Hong Kong.
Furthermore, we must step up our support for Hong Kongers by expanding the BN(O) passport scheme. It is simply not right that some young Hong Kongers - including some who protested against the Chinese government in summers past - have been excluded from the scheme on the basis of decisions which they did not take. It has become clear over the last few weeks that the way of life in Hong Kong is being destroyed in a manner which was not envisaged when the Joint Declaration was signed. It is therefore vital that you extend the scheme, providing a life raft to anyone who needs it.
I look forward to your response.
Layla Moran MP
Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon
Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and International Development