Stand with Hong Kong
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Students, academics, and alumni of the University of St Andrews have all been given the opportunity to learn in a diverse, welcoming, and free environment. Those in Hong Kong do not currently possess the extent of freedom we enjoy here including freedom of the press, freedom of speech, the right to assemble or free and open elections. As such, it is our duty to stand in unity with the people of Hong Kong.
Starting with the introduction of the infamous extradition bill earlier this year, the situation in Hong Kong has gotten increasingly dire - as such, we can no longer stand by as passive bystanders.
The extradition bill has since been withdrawn, but the scope of the demands of the protesters have grown beyond maintaining the separation of the judicial systems of China and Hong Kong. In the months that have followed, protests have become a demonstration against China’s encroaching influence upon a territory that was promised ‘a high degree of autonomy’ in the Joint Declaration (1984) as a key aspect of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ framework. The people of Hong Kong are asking for this autonomy to continue to be respected and upheld.
The police force of Hong Kong is reported by Amnesty International to have committed ‘a plethora of police abuses’. Police are confirmed to be perpetrating an excessive amount of force against peaceful protesters, journalists, and innocent bystanders, violating international human rights laws and standards. In particular:
- On August 31: Passengers in Prince Edward train station were assaulted/targeted by the police force, regardless of whether they participated in the protests.
- On September 29: Indonesian Journalist, Veby Indah, was shot in the face by a rubber bullet and suffered permanent vision loss in one eye.
- On November 2: First-aider in Causeway Bay was shot by a tear-gas canister in the back, suffering serious burns and losing consciousness as a result.
Due to this, we demand a full independent investigation into police responses.
The communities of St Andrews and Hong Kong have always been engaged in dialogue, and today, Hong Kong students constitute the fifth-largest international student population of St Andrews. In this time of need, we express solidarity towards the people of Hong Kong who are fighting for freedom and democracy.
We stand by the people of Hong Kong in this time of crisis. We express complete solidarity with the people of Hong Kong as they fight for a future they can be proud of, as well as for ‘the freedoms and rights which all peoples and all nations’ should be entitled to and strive to achieve (UN General Assembly, 1948). We support their right to democracy and freedom of expression.
We ask that the University of St Andrews issue a statement pledging solidarity with the protesters in Hong Kong as well as the plethora of Hong Kong students, academics and alumni who have called St Andrews home. Barring this, we ask that the university explain why they are choosing to turn a blind eye to this humanitarian issue.
Please sign your name to this petition to show your support and solidarity with those fighting for democracy in Hong Kong. Regardless of our success with the University, we will be sending this petition to Hong Kong to alert them to their supporters in Scotland.
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