Impose Sanctions on Persons Found to be Suppressing Human Rights in Hong Kong
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TO THE HONOURABLE PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF THE SENATE IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED
THE PETITION OF THE UNDERSIGNED SHOWS:
Stand with Hong Kong, Stand with Freedom and Democracy
We are a group of Australians that support Hong Kongers’ fight for democracy and human rights. We request the Senate’s assistance in upholding the fundamental human rights and freedoms of Hong Kongers, as well as Australians residing in Hong Kong.
Over the last three months, Hong Kong has been rocked by massive protests with scales unprecedented in recent history. Millions of protesters braved intense heat, torrential rain, mob attacks, intimidation, brutal police crackdowns, and threats from the Chinese army to let their voices be heard. At times, the city came to standstills as close to a third of the city’s population trampled through all arterial roads of the CBD.
Hong Kongers demand democracy from Chinese Communist Party, a promise that was embedded in the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ arrangement and Hong Kong’s mini-Constitution, the Basic Law. These freedom fighters of Hong Kong are standing up against the most powerful authoritarian regime in the world, knowing full well that the People’s Liberation Army is ten minutes away from their schools, their workplaces and their homes. Their courage and resilience are to be commended.
In the city’s struggle against the encroaching dominance of Beijing, some political parties have already been outlawed. Several democratically elected legislators have been disqualified because of their political stance. Multiple student leaders have already been imprisoned. Since June, over 1,000 pro-democracy protesters have been arrested, including multiple publicly elected legislators and activists, with many more injured. Hong Kong Police have used tear gas and rubber bullets in manners that are deemed to be prohibited by international norms and standards by the United Nations. The Hong Kong government tolerated non-discriminatory mob attacks against pro-democracy protesters, journalists and citizens. The Hong Kong Police themselves engaged in non‑discriminatory attacks against pro-democracy protesters and citizens. With armed troops massing outside of the border of Hong Kong, Beijing is creating a humanitarian crisis in the city.
Even with the odds stack against them, the people of Hong Kong remain steadfast. They are at the forefront of a global fight against authoritarianism. Courageously, they are attempting to defend their freedoms and anyone that takes Hong Kong as a refuge, including Australians, against the growing ambition of an authoritarian regime. The Senate should stand with these vanguards of the free world.
Even in Australia, we are already experiencing the growing ambition of the Chinese Communist Party. We have seen peaceful demonstrations organized by Hong Kong students being targeted and disrupted by pro-Beijing groups that have extreme nationalism sentiments. There are multiple reports that the Hong Kong students in Australian soil are facing threats of violence and harassments simply because of their identity and their pro-democracy stance. There are also alleged interference of the Chinese Communist Party in Australia that are yet to be fully investigated.
We implore the Senate to follow Australia’s western allies and voice its strong support for the people of Hong Kong, and to protect Australia from foreign interference from the Chinese Communist Party.
THE PETITIONERS ASK THAT THE SENATE TO:
- acknowledge that there is an impending humanitarian crisis in Hong Kong;
- consider Magnitsky-style sanctions upon Hong Kong and Chinese governments officials found to be responsible for or complicit in the suppression of basic rights and freedoms in Hong Kong;
- take action to address the threats of violence being made to Hong Kong students in Australia;
- fully investigate Chinese Communist Party’s influence in Australia; and
- protect Australian citizens being detained in China.
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