Justice for pro-democracy #UmbrellaNine

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#HKFreedomOfExpression --A Group of CUHK Sociology Students and Alumni
#HKFreedomOfExpression --A Group of… signed this petition

The trial against the 9 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement organizers has begun on Monday, 19th November 2018 and is expected to last for about two weeks.

The prosecution against sociologist Professor Chan Kin‐man, legal scholar Professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting, retired pastor Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, student leaders Tommy Cheung Sau-yin and Eason Chung Yiu-wah, lawmakers The Hon Ms. Tanya Chan and The Hon Mr. Shiu Ka-chun and political leaders Mr Raphael Wong Ho-ming and Mr. Lee Wing-tat was commenced by the Hong Kong Government for the alleged “conspiracy, incitement, and incitement to incite others to cause public nuisance” due to the appeal to the public for joining the pro‐democracy Umbrella Movement between September and December 2014.

The large-scale protests escalating from the Occupy Central civil disobedience campaign aimed to advocate for universal suffrage (as stipulated in the Basic Law of Hong Kong) during the democratic election of the city’s Chief Executive of the government in 2017 and for freedom of expression for all citizens. Demonstrations involved tens of thousands of people every day, for 79 days and were carried out in an overwhelmingly peaceful manner. The accusations towards the defendants are based on their peaceful participation in the Umbrella Movement: namely, directing protesters to different streets outside the government headquarters and urging others, through loudspeakers, phone calls and text messages, to join the protests.

The Hong Kong government has already arrested and prosecuted about a thousand peaceful protesters since the Umbrella Movement, usually on vague charges related to “unlawful assembly”, “unauthorized assembly” and “public disorder”. These charges are based on the Public Order Ordinance, the provisions and application of which have been repeatedly criticized by the UN Human Rights Committee - see 2013 report - for failing to fully meet international human rights law and infringing the citizens’ right of peaceful assembly. The impact of a potential conviction of the nine is significant for Hong Kong, as the government could then refer to the court judgement to further prosecute other Umbrella Movement protesters, and the outcome of this trial is a reason for every global citizen to be concerned about the destiny of civil and political rights in the world.

Therefore, in the spirit of the call for urgent action issued by Amnesty International on November 7th, sign up to strongly urge the Secretary of Justice and the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Government to:

  • Drop the charges against the nine leaders of Occupy Central and Umbrella Movement based on their peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly;
  • Stop politically motivated prosecutions against peaceful protesters that are aimed at deterring participation in peaceful assembly and silencing critical voices;
  • Bring the Public Order Ordinance into line with international human rights law and standards to respect and protect the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.