Hong Kong: Britain’s Minister for Human Rights calls for Hong Kong to abide by international humanitarian law, and calls for independent inquiry and Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, expresses “serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjang” about “widespread surveillance and restrictions targeted at minorities.”

Jan 8, 2020 | Uncategorized

Britain’s Minister for Human Rights calls for Hong Kong to abide by international humanitarian law, and calls for independent inquiry

Britain’s Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office responsible for human rights, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, has told Parliament that the United Kingdom takes “allegations of the mistreatment of medical personnel in Hong Kong extremely seriously”.

Responding to a Written Question from Hong Kong Watch Patron Lord Alton of Liverpool, Lord Ahmad said: “We expect the Hong Kong authorities to abide by international humanitarian laws and practices. It is vital that those who are injured are able to receive appropriate medical treatment.”

The questions were tabled the day after Lord Alton hosted a briefing in Parliament by Dr Darren Mann, a British surgeon who has worked in Hong Kong for 25 years and who first brought the arrest and mistreatment of medical professionals in Hong Kong to international attention in an article in The Lancet in November.

In response to another question from Lord Alton, the Minister said that the United Kingdom “made clear” during the crisis at Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University in November that “it was vital that those who were injured were able to receive appropriate medical treatment, and that safe passage was provided to those who wished to leave the area. We take the allegations set out by Dr Mann relating to the arrest of medical personnel at Hong Kong Polytechnic University extremely seriously. We expect the Hong Kong authorities to abide by international humanitarian laws and practices. We have called consistently for a robust, independent inquiry into recent events.”

Lord Ahmad added that: “The Foreign Secretary summoned the Chinese Ambassador on 19 November and set out his concerns about the situation in Hong Kong. The leadership in China and Hong Kong is in no doubt about the strength of UK concern over the current situation, and our commitment to seeing the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Joint Declaration upheld. We will continue to raise our concerns with the Hong Kong SAR Government and the authorities in Beijing.”

Co-founder and Chair of Hong Kong Watch Benedict Rogers said: “We welcome the Minister’s reassurances that the United Kingdom is taking these reports extremely seriously. We urge the British government to go further and to support calls for an international inquiry if a domestic inquiry is not possible within Hong Kong and to impose targeted Magnitsky sanctions on those responsible for serious violations of human rights and of international humanitarian norms. We also urge the Prime Minister himself to now speak out for Hong Kong’s freedoms, human rights and autonomy and to lead the formation of an international contact group of like-minded countries to co-ordinate a worldwide response to the crisis in Hong Kong.”

January 8, 2020

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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL4):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the treatment of medical professionals in Hong Kong; and what representations they intend to make to the government of China about such treatment. (HL4)

Tabled on: 19 December 2019

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

We take allegations of the mistreatment of medical personnel in Hong Kong extremely seriously. We expect the Hong Kong authorities to abide by international humanitarian laws and practices. It is vital that those who are injured are able to receive appropriate medical treatment.

The Foreign Secretary summoned the Chinese Ambassador on 19 November and set out his concerns about the situation in Hong Kong. The leadership in China and Hong Kong is in no doubt about the strength of UK concern over the current situation, and our commitment to seeing the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Joint Declaration upheld. We will continue to raise our concerns with the Hong Kong SAR Government and the authorities in Beijing.

Date and time of answer: 07 Jan 2020 at 15:55.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL3):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the description of the arrests of medical personnel during a confrontation at Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University on 17 November, by Dr Darren Mann, and his call for an international inquiry into breaches of international humanitarian norms and human rights law. (HL3)

Tabled on: 19 December 2019

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

The UK was seriously concerned by the escalation in violence between protesters and the authorities at Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University. At the time, we made clear it was vital that those who were injured were able to receive appropriate medical treatment, and that safe passage was provided to those who wished to leave the area. We take the allegations set out by Dr Mann relating to the arrest of medical personnel at Hong Kong Polytechnic University extremely seriously. We expect the Hong Kong authorities to abide by international humanitarian laws and practices. We have called consistently for a robust, independent inquiry into recent events.

Date and time of answer: 07 Jan 2020 at 15:45.

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  Speech in the Queen’s Speech Debate 

7.31 pm November 7th 2020

 

Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB)

My Lords…. I should declare at the outset that ​I am a patron of Hong Kong Watch and visited Hong Kong in November to monitor the election and that last month I visited Kurdistan and northern Iraq.

Because of time constraints, I have given the Minister notice of several questions relating to Hong Kong, including evidence given in the House by Dr Darren Mann about attacks on and the arrest of medics there, which he says “amount to grave breaches of international humanitarian norms and human rights law”,  the potential use of Magnitsky powers and a request for an assessment of the post-election situation in Hong Kong.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Goldie) (Con) replied saying that she will respond to these questions in writing.

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In a letter to Tom Tugendhat MP, who has served as Chair of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, expresses “serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjang” about “widespread surveillance and restrictions targeted at minorities.”

https://hk.news.appledaily.com/local/realtime/article/20200107/60460122

House Magazine Hong Kong the Frontline of Freedom Jan 14 2020

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