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Third Foreign Judge Resigns From Hong Kong’s Highest Court

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Canada's only judge on the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, Beverley McLachlin, said that she will retire from her seat on Hong Kong’s highest appellate court when her term ends this summer. She is the third foreign judge to leave, following the decisions by British judges Lord Lawrence Collins of Mapesbury and Lord Jonathan Sumption to resign from Hong Kong’s highest court last week.


Their resignations follow the release of a report by the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) Foundation 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. 


Beijing’s liaison office and national security office in Hong Kong issued two statements in response to the resignation and comments made by British judge Jonathan Sumption, who resigned as a non-permanent overseas judge from the Court of Final Appeal last week. They referred to him as a "pawn" of foreign interference.

 

In a separate statement, also in Chinese, a spokesperson for the Office of Safeguarding National Security condemned Jonathan Sumption and defended local judges’ independence in applying the security law. “Judges rule according to facts and the law, convictions and sentences are grounded in evidence,” the spokesperson said. “The procedure is just and the outcome is fair. There is no place for unfounded accusations.”


Lord Jonathan Sumption


Jimmy Lai's Trial Update


The trial of Jimmy Lai reached its 90-day mark on Tuesday, June 11th, and the prosecution finished presenting its evidence, which included interviews and recordings of Lai. The prosecution has succeeded only in showing that Lai was an articulate, powerful and non-violent supporter of democracy for Hong Kong.


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


Detailed trial updates available here: Support Jimmy Lai


Hong Kong


The Hong Kong government cancelled the passports of six UK-based activists, including pro-democracy lawmaker Nathan Law, unionist Mung Siu-tat, and activists Simon Cheng, Finn Lau, Johnny Fok, and Tony Choi, under Article 23 legislation, the new national security law. Finn Lau pointed out the absurdity of cancelling his Hong Kong passport, given that he has never had one. Last year Hong Kong authorities placed bounties of 1 million Hong Kong dollars on thirteen overseas activists in exchange for information leading to their arrests.


U.S. - Hong Kong


At least 21 Hong Kong-based companies have been sanctioned by the US for allegedly assisting Russian firms in evading or circumventing sanctions. These sanctions were designed to restrict the flow of critical technology and equipment into Russia and to cut off Russia's access to international materials amid Moscow's ongoing war in Ukraine.


UK - Hong Kong


This week marks the fifth anniversary of the 2019 Hong Kong pro-democracy movement. On June 9th, 2019, a million people filled Hong Kong’s streets to peacefully demonstrate against a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China. Protesters successfully prevented the legislation from passing on June 12th, a day when Hong Kong police used tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters for the first time in decades. 


To commemorate the date, Chloe Cheung, the Communications and Media Assistant for the CFHK Foundation, delivered a speech outside the London Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) on June 9th, calling for the shutdown of the HKETO and urging the revocation of the diplomatic immunity granted to the Hong Kong government officials who work there. Cheung emphasised the need for stronger international action in response to the ongoing human rights violations and the suppression of democratic freedoms in Hong Kong.


Chloe Cheung speaking outside the London HKETO on June 9th.


Flame of Freedom Blog🔥


Against the Odds: Five years since the anti-extradition protests, by Boris Kwok, Member of HongKongers in Leeds.

 

“Five years ago, Hong Kongers were betrayed. Protesters with good intentions to fight against injustice and express their love for Hong Kong were smeared by the government. Some even paid the ultimate price.”

 

Read More Here

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