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CFHK urges Congress to sanction those responsible for Apple Daily raids, arrests and assaults

Monday 3rd October: Last week, the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) joined other NGOs, including the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), in sending a joint letter to Congress urging it to support sanctions on those involved in the raids and closure of Hong Kong’s leading pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily. The letter, co-signed by eight human-rights organizations, was sent to the Commissioners of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC). The text of the letter can be found here. Other signatories to the letter include Reporters Without Borders, the Hong Kong Democracy Council, the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, the Athenai Institute, Citizen Power Initiatives for China, Safeguard Defenders, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, and We The Hongkongers. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been progressively tightening its grip on the city, shattering the promise of a free, autonomous Hong Kong. The regime has engaged in rampant intimidation and persecution of those citizens and institutions that seek to preserve the civil liberties of Hong Kongers. This effort has included scores of arbitrary arrests and show trials. The imposition of the national-security law in 2020, a vague, far-reaching law intended to silence any remaining dissent, was the coup de grâce. Police raids in August 2020 and June 2021 resulted in the arrest of several of the paper’s top executives, including Jimmy Lai, and the confiscation of its journalists’ phones and computers. Soon afterward the government froze the publication’s assets, forcing it to close in June 2021. The signatories to the letter, including CFHK, urge Congress to support the use of tools such as Executive Order 13936 — known as “The President’s Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization” — to impose sanctions on those involved in the Apple Daily raids. CFHK President, Mark Clifford, said: “The raid on Apple Daily’s newsroom was a cowardly betrayal of the government’s promise to uphold the civil liberties of Hong Kongers and should not go unpunished. Those who perpetrated this assault on press freedom should face consequences. “The raids on Apple Daily and subsequent arrests and prosecutions underscore the Hong Kong government’s assault on press freedom and civil society. By taking action against these abuses, the United States government can show the world that our nation stands in support of democracy and human rights in Hong Kong.”

About CFHK The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong presses for political and economic consequences for China’s failure to keep its promises to respect Hong Kong’s freedoms; supports the rule of law, freedom of expression, and the release of political prisoners; and urges the business community to stand against China’s assault on freedom and the danger it poses to Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre. Hong Kong’s fate is linked to the preservation of freedom, democracy, and international law in the region and around the world. ​For more information, please contact: ​ @thecfhk

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