Updated: Jul 26
This week's blog is authored by Megan Khoo, Communications Manager for the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation.
Days after Hong Kong’s leader John Lee launched the ‘#HelloHongKong’ campaign to bring the globe back to the city, Hong Kong’s largest National Security Law-related trial to date has begun.
Hello Hong Kong, where the rule of law is being dismantled.
Hello Hong Kong, where the independence of the judiciary is under attack.
Hello Hong Kong, where freedom is dying.
Forget attractive videos, free airfare, and enticing events. The Chinese Communist Party (#CCP) is projecting a fake image of Hong Kong on the foreign stage as it continues to assault Hong Kong’s freedoms. The world must not turn a blind eye.
Hello Hong Kong, where the trial has started for the ‘Hong Kong 47’, forty-seven individuals who have been accused of subverting the Hong Kong government simply because they organized an unofficial primary election in July 2020. Shortly after the implementation of the National Security Law in June 2020, which criminalized free speech, the forty-seven were arrested by Hong Kong authorities.
More than two years later, during which most of the forty-seven were jailed without bail, the trial will put the city-state’s judicial independence to the test. The trial includes high-profile pro-democracy activists such as Joshua Wong and Gwyneth Ho and will likely set a precedent for cases such as that of media owner Jimmy Lai. Signs are not looking favorable as three hand-picked judges will preside – and the constitutional right to trial by jury has been thrown out the window. The forty-seven face the potential of life in prison.
The international community must speak out about this show trial. If the world remains silent, the fate of political prisoners and what is left of Hong Kong’s rule of law will be further damaged. We will continue to fight for the freedom of the Hong Kong 47, for Jimmy Lai’s right to a speedy and fair trial with his choice of lawyer, and for Hong Kongers to freely exercise the rights that were promised to them by the People’s Republic of China. We will not be fooled by John Lee’s grandiose welcome to a city-state where he has personally destroyed free press, free speech and a free society. We will continue to fight the CCP’s use of the National Security Law to strangle freedom in Hong Kong. We will not accept Hello Hong Kong, Goodbye Freedom.