UK Government responds to concerns that the the national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong breaches international human rights law and says it “contains a number of measures that directly threaten the freedoms and rights protected by the Joint Declaration.”

Jul 10, 2020 | Uncategorized

 

UK Government responds to concerns that the the national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong breaches international human rights law and says it “contains a number of measures that directly threaten the freedoms and rights protected by the Joint Declaration.”

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL6108):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the “serious concern” expressed by several UN Special Rapporteurs that the proposed changes to the Hong Kong special administrative region’s legal system and enforcement mechanisms proposed in the Decision of the National People’s Congress, do not include assurances that the measures will be fully compliant with international human rights law, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. (HL6108)

Tabled on: 24 June 2020

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

We remain deeply concerned about the situation in Hong Kong. As the Foreign Secretary said in Parliament on 1 July, the enactment by China of a national security law for Hong Kong is a grave and deeply disturbing step. The law’s imposition by Beijing on the people of Hong Kong constitutes a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. On the same day, the Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office summoned the Chinese Ambassador to make clear the UK’s deep concern at China’s actions.

With regard to the law’s compliance with international human rights law, as the Foreign Secretary set out in his statement, the national security legislation contains a number of measures that directly threaten the freedoms and rights protected by the Joint Declaration. This includes the potentially wide-ranging ability of the Chinese authorities to take jurisdiction over certain cases without any independent oversight, and to try those cases in the Chinese courts. This violates paragraphs 3(3) and 3(5) of the Joint Declaration, and directly threatens the rights set out in the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, which, under the Joint Declaration, are to be protected in Hong Kong. This represents an assault on freedom of speech and the freedom of peaceful protest for the people of Hong Kong.

Date and time of answer: 10 Jul 2020 at 12:46.

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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL6107):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:


To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to support the letter sent to the government of China’s State Councillor and Minister for Foreign Affairs by the UN Special Rapporteurs on 19 June on (1) the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, (2) extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, (3) the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, (4) the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, (5) the situation of human rights defenders, and (6) expressing concern about the imposition of new security laws in Hong Kong. (HL6107)

Tabled on: 24 June 2020

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

We are aware of the letter sent to the Government of China’s State Councillor and Minister for Foreign Affairs by the UN Special Rapporteurs on 19 June, and have repeatedly set out our concerns on the issues raised in the letter. We remain committed to promoting human rights in China, and our continued multilateral and bilateral activity demonstrates this. On 30 June at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the UK led a formal Joint Statement with the support of 27 international partners, setting out our deep concern on Hong Kong and the situation in Xinjiang. This statement, delivered through UK leadership, underlines the strength and breadth of international concern. As the Foreign Secretary said in Parliament on 1 July, the enactment by China of a national security law for Hong Kong is a grave and deeply disturbing step. The law’s imposition by Beijing on the people of Hong Kong constitutes a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. On the same day, the Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office summoned the Chinese Ambassador to make clear the UK’s deep concern at China’s actions.

Date and time of answer: 10 Jul 2020 at 12:47.

 

stand with hong kong

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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