A Washington-based human rights monitoring group condemned the “incommunicado detentions and abusive interrogations" of 12 Hong Kong residents detained by China on Thursday, October 15. Earlier in September, Chinese forces had detained 12 Hong Kongers at sea, all of whom were trying to flee to Taiwan on a boat. As per Hong Kong media reports, one of those arrested was pro-democracy activist Andy Li.
While Hong Kong's semi-autonomous government has refused to interfere in the case, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China is reported to have asserted that all the detainees' rights must be respected. In a report, the Independent agency of the US government said that all the detainees should also be given access to family appointed lawyers, medical care and contact with family members, the commission said.
Following the announcement, relatives of detainees asked the Hong Kong police to check on their condition. As per reports, they also urged the Hong Kong authorities to ensure that only lawyers appointed by them, and not the Chinese government, can meet them. However, their request remains pending.
Meanwhile, the commission also slammed the Chinese government for crushing Hong Kong’s freedom amid an increasing crackdown on people for alleged participating in an “unauthorised” pro-democracy demonstrations across the region. Following the passage of the draconian national security law earlier this year, Hong Kong police have arrested tens of thousands of people accusing them of committing crimes against the government.
Under the National Security Law (NSL), an act of succession (breaking away from China), subversion (undermining the power of central govt) terrorism and collusion of foreign forces is an offence and can result in punishment up to life in imprisonment.
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