Letter from the President
The fight for freedom in Hong Kong continues. On behalf of everyone at the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation, I am grateful for your support for the people of Hong Kong.
CFHK Foundation has expanded our team in the US and the UK with new offices and additional staff in Washington and London.
In October, CFHK Foundation, together with London’s Henry Jackson Society, launched a report titled, ‘An Investigation of China’s Confucius Institutes in the UK’, looking at the influence of Confucius Institutes in UK universities and the way in which they work with the Chinese Communist Party to stifle dissent in Britain. We are proud that the report spurred the Prime Minister to immediately instruct her Higher Education Minister to investigate UK policy towards university funding from Chinese sources.
In Edinburgh, we organized the first-ever event in the Scottish Parliament for Hong Kongers who have settled in Scotland. The event was attended by a dozen Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and over 50 Hong Kongers – bridging a gap between new Hong Kongers in Britain and their elected representatives. This was the first opportunity for MSPs to meet their constituents and hear first-hand about the challenges they face settling into life in Scotland.
CFHK Foundation staged large-scale light projections at the Guggenheim Museum in New York ahead of National Day, to highlight the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights violations in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang. Another set of projectionsin lower Manhattan called out Wall Street financiers for enabling the continued repression in Hong Kong.
In 2023, we will work with friends and allies around the world to intensify our fight for freedom and democracy for those still living in Hong Kong. We will continue to call out China’s ongoing violations of its international treaties in Hong Kong. We will keep the global focus on Hong Kong at a time when brave activists, like Jimmy Lai, are subjected to sham trials under the vague and sweeping National Security Law. We will stand up for the hundreds of political prisoners who are filling Hong Kong jails, giving a voice to those whom the Chinese Communist Party would silence.
Thank you for your support.
Mark L. Clifford, President
Low Points in 2022 in Hong Kong
Ten foreign judges still remain on the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal despite calls for them to stand down following the March resignations of two British judges, President of the Supreme Court Lord Reed of Allermuir and Deputy President Lord Hodge. The departing judges cited the Hong Kong administration’s disregard for the principles of political freedom and freedom of expression under the draconian National Security Law.
John Lee was ‘elected’ Hong Kong’s Chief Executive in May after receiving over 99% of the vote in a rubber-stamp election. Since his inauguration as the city’s leader, the former security chief has been working closely with the central government in Beijing to crack down on freedom and democracy in Hong Kong.
July 1st marked the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from the UK under the terms of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. China has since disavowed the treaty, breaking its international promises. To mark the anniversary, and underscore Beijing’s control, Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping visited Hong Kong.
The Chinese Communist Party’s campaign against Jimmy Lai, China’s best-known political prisoner, continued unabated in 2022. Despite completing a 14-month sentence for civil disobedience in mid-2022, authorities kept Lai in prison. In October he was convicted on a trumped-up lease violation charge and sentenced to another five years and nine months in prison. In December his national security trial was postponed until September 2023 as the government fought his wish to hire a London-based lawyer.
Dear friends, The Committee For Freedom Foundation appreciates your readership and your support. We have a packed schedule of events and advocacy planned for 2023, and would appreciate your donation which will help in holding events and advocacy that put a spotlight on the abuses of freedom in Hong Kong. You can donate through our website The Committee For Freedom In Hong Kong Foundation or contact Tara Joseph, Director of Development firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance!