Borrell urges Hong Kong authorities to guarantee fundamental freedoms

“The EU condemns the decision of the Hong Kong authorities to issue arrest warrants (…) against eight pro-democracy activists living outside Hong Kong. The extraterritorial application of this law only increases our concern,” Josep Borrell said in a message. broadcast Wednesday on the social network Twitter.

Borrell called on China to “respect international commitments and the ‘one country, two systems’ principle.” “Brussels urges the Hong Kong authorities to guarantee the exercise of the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Basic Law”, he concluded.

Hong Kong police announced on Monday the decision to offer a reward of one million Hong Kong dollars (about 117 thousand euros) for information leading to the arrest of eight activists accused of violating the law on the national security, imposed by Beijing.

Hong Kong authorities have tried to relaunch the trial against several activists, who are in Canada, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Among them are former MPs Nathan Law, Dennis Kwok and Ted Hui, lawyer Kevin Yam and trade unionist Mung Siu Tat. Finn Lau, Anna Kwok and Elmer Yuan round out the list, which was released by Police Chief Steve Li on Monday.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee on Tuesday called on “anyone” to help police arrest activists, saying authorities would “harass activists for the rest of their lives” even if it meant going “to the end of the world”: “they will live in fear”, he declared during a press conference.

The Chinese government imposed the National Security Law in 2020, following anti-government protests that a year earlier rocked the former British colony. Since the law came into effect, at least 260 people have been arrested, two-thirds of whom have been charged.

Alaric Cohen

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