Amnesty for July 1st 2019 Legco Protesters in Hong Kong / 促請赦免二零一九年七月一日到立法會抗議之示威者

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(中文版請見下方/Chinese version below)

Dear members of Legco,

We, the undersigned citizens and friends of Hong Kong, appeal to you as duly elected lawmakers to table and support the following resolution with immediate effect:

Amnesty (freedom from prosecution under the law) shall be guaranteed to any student or other protester who was involved in the storming of the Legco Building on July 1st 2019 and who voluntarily admits to their involvement in this event within one month of this law being enacted.

By signing this petition we affirm the rule of law in Hong Kong and your role, as members of Legco, in crafting the SAR’s laws. In general, we affirm the right of the police to prosecute those who break the law and of the courts, where relevant, to determine matters of guilt and punishment. We furthermore respect the fact that acts such as trespassing and vandalism are illegal and would normally be subject to prosecution.

At the same time, however, we recognize that the protestors who stormed the Legco Building on July 1st were not acting as wanton criminals. Although their acts were illegal and the situation leading to such an extreme response was deeply regrettable, the protesters were not seeking personal gain at the expense of others. Rather, for many of the undersigned the perpetrators of those crimes are our children, our students, or our friends; in many cases, they have the potential to be the future leaders of Hong Kong. The anger they displayed during their defacing of the Legco Building was an expression of the widespread frustration felt by a majority of Hong Kong people because you, the members of Legco, have in recent years not been serving the best interests of Hong Kong but have been seeking to promote your own political agendas, be they “pro-establishment” or “pro-democracy”. By signing this petition we do not express support for either of these political ideologies. Rather, we urge you, as members of the body that makes the laws, to begin listening more empathetically to the voice of the people, including the millions of recent protestors, as well as those whose acts of deliberate law-breaking were an attempt to attract your attention and prompt you to do a better job.

We urge you, furthermore, to recognize that the decision on the part of the police to abandon their sworn duty to protect public property by leaving the Legco Building unprotected from intruders, while it surely prevented a direct confrontation that would have led to further acts of violence, also enabled the crimes to be committed in a more extreme way. It seems obvious that the main purpose for the police to retreat entirely from the building was to create precisely the situation that ensued, in order to sway public opinion against support for the recent student uprisings. We, the undersigned, refuse to be duped by this ploy, as we recognize that the students were expressing widespread public dissatisfaction with Legco.

Finally, we urge you to model your response to the recent events (especially June 12 to July 1, 2019) after South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (see http://www.justice.gov.za/trc/ for details). By offering forgiveness to the perpetrators of the serious crimes committed against your offices, you will be acknowledging that this is a complex situation where many different parties share responsibility for what has taken place. This courageous approach to solving political problems will demonstrate not only to the people of Hong Kong but to the world that you have the integrity that is required in order to deserve the position of lawmakers.

Friends for a United Hong Kong

 

各位立法會議員:

我們是一群香港公民及關心香港之朋友。現我等促請各位立法會議員盡快提出並支持以下決議:

對所有在二零一九年七月一日參與衝擊立法會大樓的學生及其他示威者(包括在本赦免令頒布後一個月內自願承認曾參與此事件者)予以赦免,亦即免除因該等行為被起訴或法律追究之可能。

我等肯定法治對香港的重要性,亦肯定  閣下作為立法會議員負責制定香港特別行政區之法律的角色。一般而言,我們肯定警方有權起訴涉嫌違法者,亦肯定法院有權判定此等人士的罪與刑罰。同時我們亦尊重以下事實:非法侵入及破壞行為是非法的,一般會受到起訴。

然而,與此同時,我們認為於七月一日衝擊立法會大樓的示威者不應該被視為惡犯。雖然他們的違法行為和令他們作出此等激烈回應的局面,同樣令人感到深切遺憾,但示威者不是為了一己之利益而妄顧他人。相反,涉事者中有我們部分簽字人的兒女、學生和朋友,當中更不乏香港未來的楝樑。依我等之見,他們對立法會大樓造成之破壞、展現之憤慨,只是反映了大部份香港人對立法會的失望和不滿。究其原因,包括所謂「建制派」及「民主派」在內的立法會議員,近年皆只著眼於爭取一己之政治訴求,而少有為香港的整體利益設想。是故,此請願信並非以支持任何意識形態為目的。反之,我們促請作為立法者一員之  閣下,應當認真聆聽人民之聲音。過百萬示威者的聲音響徹雲霄,當中涉嫌刻意違法者亦無非是想引起諸位之關注,並促請諸位立法會議員克盡己任。望  閣下深察之。

此外,我們亦敦促  閣下關注警方棄守立法會大樓之決定。保護公共財產(如立法會大樓)乃警方之責任。誠然,警方棄守之決定令警方和示威者不用直接衝突,唯該決定亦令之後發生的違法行為更趨激烈。依我等之見,警方棄守立法會大樓之主要目的,似是為後續發生的違法行為而設,並以動搖大眾對該批年輕人之觀感為目的。關此,我等申明不會受此等手段影響,並重申該批年輕人無非表達了大眾對立法會的不滿情緒。

最後,我們促請各位議員以南非真相與和解委員會(詳見http://www.justice.gov.za/trc/)為榜樣,恰切回應香港近期(特別是二零一九年六月十二日至七月一日)發生之事件。倘若諸位立法會議員支持赦免涉事者對立法會大樓所犯之罪行,則亦代表諸位認同事件中其餘各方皆有責任。我等相信  閣下如能以此等寬宏勇敢之舉措處理當前之政治問題,則亦說明  閣下具備立法會議員應有之氣節,而為全香港以至全世界所認同。

一群為團結香港而努力的朋友