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Dictatorship Awards: Hong Kong Government Honours Architects of New National Security Law


On Monday, the twenty-seventh anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China, the government released its annual honours list of people who have made “significant contributions” to the city.

Among the 502 recipients, 6 are on the Hong Kong Sanctions Act List, a bill introduced in the U.S. Congress which aims to hold Hong Kong officials accountable for human rights violations. Among other recipients of awards were officials in charge of the legislation known as Article 23, which is Hong Kong’s own version of the Beijing imposed National Security Law. The two pieces of legislation ended all protests across the city and led to the arrest of thousands of protesters.

The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) Foundation calls on the U.S. and UK government to immediately enforce the Sanctions Act List so that human rights abusers cannot enjoy the freedom abroad that they have curtailed in Hong Kong.

The Grand Bauhinia Medal, the highest award under the Hong Kong honours system. Source: South China Morning Post

On the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China, the CFHK Foundation issued a statement denouncing the Chinese Communist Party's crackdown on Hong Kong's freedoms through the National Security Law.

The CFHK Foundation stands in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong and urges governments around the world to condemn the blatant breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, to hold China to account for its destruction of Hong Kong’s freedoms, and to exercise caution in their engagements with the Chinese Communist Party, especially in treaty negotiations.

Jimmy Lai's Trial Update

Lai’s trial is adjourned until July 24, when his lawyers will argue that the case should be thrown out.

Detailed trial updates available here: Support Jimmy Lai

Hong Kong

Mitigation hearings for the trial of the Hong Kong 47 continued July 3, where former district councillor Michael Pang faced intense scrutiny. Judges labelled him an "opportunist masquerading as a patriot" and questioned his integrity. Pang is among 45 democrats convicted of participating in a conspiracy to commit subversion.

British Citizen Paul Harris, former chairperson of the Hong Kong Bar Association, said he decided to leave the city two years ago after a warning by police he could be charged with sedition for comments he made in a social media post and his book, “Freedom’s Banner: How Peaceful Demonstrations Have Changed the World.”

Australia - Hong Kong

Australian Senator Alex Antic gave a speech condemning the detention of  Jimmy Lai and called on the Australian Parliament to demand for the immediate release of Lai. He said: “Australia should do the right thing and join the U.S. and the UK in calling for Jimmy Lai's release. We cannot allow demonstrated Australian values of democracy and free speech to be sacrificed in our relationship with China. Jimmy Lai stood up for democracy, and it's time we all stood up for Jimmy Lai.”

The CFHK Foundation welcomes the statement by Senator Antic and calls for the immediate release of Jimmy Lai and all political prisoners.

Foreign Judges in Hong Kong

Sebastien Lai, the son of Jimmy Lai, spoke at the National Press Club in Canberra, Australia, urging all foreign judges to step down from Hong Kong’s judiciary. “By staying you’re essentially saying there’s still some semblance of rule of law in this place that imprisons pro-democracy protesters,” Lai said. “And that is not true, that is not true at all.”

The CFHK Foundation released a report in May, calling for foreign judges in Hong Kong to step down. The report, “Lending Prestige to Persecution: How Foreign Judges are Undermining Hong Kong’s Freedoms and Why They Should Quit,” was launched in the British House of Commons.

Since the report’s publication, three judges from Canada and the UK have quit their positions. Reuters reports on how their resignations and Hong Kong’s decline in rule of law have damaged the city’s role as a legal hub in the region. 

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