A US-based human rights monitoring group called on the international community to condemn the “incommunicado detentions and abusive interrogations” of 12 Hong Kong residents. The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) stressed that the rights of the detainees must be respected that they should get access to family-appointed lawyers and medical care. The independent agency of the US government monitors human rights and rule of law in China.
The statement comes after 12 people, some of them linked to pro-democracy protests, were detained while they heading to Taiwan. According to local media reports, pro-democracy activist Andy Li was among the group of people detained on their way to Taiwan. Hong Kong government officials refused to interfere with the arrests made by Chinese authorities.
The incommunicado detentions & abusive interrogations of 12 #HongKong residents detained in #China deserves worldwide condemnation. Their rights should be respected & they should have access to family-appointed lawyers, suitable medical care & contact w/ family. #SaveHK12Youths— China Commission (@CECCgov) October 15, 2020
In September, United Nations experts raised serious objections over the draconian national security law imposed on Hong Kong which undermined the city’s autonomy. In a letter to the Chinese government, the UN human rights experts said that the measures adopted in the security law do not conform with the international legal obligations, especially with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The 14-page letter was published on the UN human rights office on September 4, 48 hours after it was sent to the Chinese government. The UN special rapporteurs on human rights warned that parts of the legislation which define organising, planning, committing or participating in secession or subversion, “appear to criminalise speech acts, including political writing.”
The controversial law has been used to arrest several pro-democracy activists, including Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai who was later released after international outrage. CECC Commissioners had then said that vague national security law is being used to justify human rights abuses, silence anyone critical of Beijing’s policies, and repress democratic voices.
“As the heavy hand of repression descends on Hong Kong, Members of Congress will continue to shine a bright light on officials undermining the rule of law who are complicit in human rights abuses,” the commissioners said in a statement.