CANZUK leaders to request Special Envoy for Hong Kong
3 June 2020
The Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Tom Tugendhat MP, has today joined his counterparts from Australia, Canada and New Zealand in writing to the United Nations and each country's Prime Minister, to express their concerns over a planned security law for Hong Kong which would make it a crime to undermine the Chinese Government's authority.
The letter states that for Beijing to impose the Security Law, without the direct participation of its people, legislature or judiciary, is a breach of the legally binding agreement between the UK and China which ensures that rights and freedoms will be protected by law in Hong Kong.
The letter – which will be sent to the Prime Ministers of each of the four countries and jointly to the Secretary General of the United Nations – asks for their active collaboration in order to establish a United Nations Special Envoy for Hong Kong.
Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat MP, said:
“What we are currently witnessing in Hong Kong is an attempt by the Chinese Communist Party to dismantle laws that were put in place to protect the rights of the public, press and others across the region.
“The Security Law will allow Beijing to launch a complete crackdown on free speech, taking away the voice of the people by preventing any criticism of the Chinese Government's ultra-authoritarian rule.
“We cannot allow this to happen, which is why myself and my counterparts are asking our leaders and the Secretary General of the United Nations for the establishment of a Special Envoy for Hong Kong.
“China has an historically extreme response to dissent from its rule, such as the Tiananmen Square massacre which occurred thirty-one years ago this week, the official death toll of which still yet to be released.
“It is our collective responsibility to prevent something like this from ever happening again. This is why we must move rapidly to ensure there is a system in place for the observation and transparent reporting of the true impact this new law will have on currently legal freedoms in Hong Kong.”
Image: Parliamentary copyright