Svensk Tidskrift undertecknar upprop för Hongkong

Tillsammans med 45 andra tankesmedjor, publikationer och organisationer från 27 länder står Svensk Tidskrift i veckan som undertecknare för ett upprop för Hongkongs rätt till självstyre, ekonomisk frihet och grundläggande mänskliga rättigheter. Uppropet är initierat av Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, vars företrädare själva varit på plats under demonstrationerna i den Kinakontrollerade ”särskilda administrativa regionen”, skriver Amanda Wollstad.

Dear World Leaders,   

We the undersigned 46 organisations, representing hundreds of  millions of people from 27 countries, strongly condemn recent  authoritarian actions by the Administration of The Hong Kong  Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of  China (PRC) in exerting control over Hong Kong and threatening the  freedoms of its citizens, but its economic stability. While the SAR government has apparently taken some steps back by  signaling the withdrawal of its extradition bill and a probe into  misconduct and human rights abuses by their police force against  protestors, we note that these are largely superficial steps that do  not end the PRC’s ongoing encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy,  and   are at least partially motivated by the threat of further U.S. economic  sanctions against the PRC. We note, for example, that the extradition  bill will not be formally withdrawn unless the decision is approved by  the pro-PRC Legislative Council in late October, and that the inquiry  into police brutality will be conducted by a body with limited  investigative abilities that is not empowered to call a single witness  and is staffed by former policemen and pro-PRC Legislative Council  members.      We therefore call upon our governments to issue an unequivocal  condemnation of actions undertaken by the SAR regime which has  enacted a state of effective martial law designed to intimidate and  force protesters into silence despite the irrevocable alteration of  their way of life, and express their support for the people of Hong  Kong. We further call for world governments to support the passage  of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which is  intended to safeguard Hong Kong’s autonomy.    The actions by authorities in the SAR ignore the wishes of the people  of Hong Kong to retain their autonomy and liberal freedoms, whilst  blatantly breaking the terms of the bilateral international agreement  under which Hong Kong was given to the PRC in 1997. Hong Kong  has been a bastion of liberal freedoms and values in the region and  has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s most economically  free cities. It has had a strong foundation of an independent judiciary  and the rule of law, as well as private property rights, both physical  and intellectual, allowing for an influx of investment and for its  economy to flourish and prosper.        
It is therefore understandable that the people of Hong Kong strongly  oppose illiberal laws that undermine human rights, including the  PRC’s attempt to pass an extradition bill that would have denied  individuals in Hong Kong the basic right to due process in justice and  allowed for political dissidents to be extradited and imprisoned. Hong  Kong’s independent judiciary is critical for countries doing business,  and therefore for its position in global trade. If these freedoms are  eroded, and companies become subject to arbitrary actions by the  government, or have their intellectual property stolen as occurs on  the mainland, companies will no longer be willing to invest. This will  damage not just the economy of Hong Kong, but the economies of all  countries that do business with the region. This is why over 2 million  Hong Kong residents have taken to the streets to protest – almost  half the city’s entire population.    In the face of the Hong Kong people’s reasonable demands, the  Administration has resorted to illegal tactics such as using tear gas  indoors, shooting protesters in their faces with rubber bullets  (permanently blinding a nurse in one eye) and simply beating people  with no just cause. Police have been recorded pepper spraying  protesters and viciously assaulting them to the point of causing  serious fractures and broken bones, even after the protesters have  surrendered. On 11 August, over 23 protesters were also detained  and denied access to their lawyers. Linda Wong, the executive  director of the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against  Women, has also said that Hong Kong police officers have been  recorded sexually assaulting both female and male pro-democracy  protesters over the past three months to humiliate and silence them.  Other dubious tactics include undercover police officers infiltrating  protests.     Amnesty International has also condemned the use of blue dye in  water cannons to identify protesters for later arrest as it’s  indiscriminate and could mark medical staff, journalists, and other  bystanders for arrest and detention. Unless the international  community sends a clear message, this abuse will only escalate.    The people of Hong Kong need international solidarity in their time  of need as they hold the fort against PRC expansionism and  imperialism – a phenomenon that threatens every free, liberal  country in the world. A failure to act now, by taking a decisive stand  in support of the Hong Kong people against these actions, will only  embolden the PRC government to take further action against  external parties that it deems enemies of its state- as well as against  its own people who already live under an oppressive regime with a  track record of wantonly disregarding the human rights of ethnic and  religious minorities.    
Abuses committed by the PRC are not limited to Hong Kong. These  human rights violations also include the imprisonment of over a  million people from Uighur minorities in indoctrination camps to  quell any political opposition, the harvesting of organs from political  prisoners, collusion with criminal triad gangs to intimidate and harass  dissidents, the killing of protesters and dissidents and torture and  killing of persecuted sects.    All governments should stand with the people of Hong Kong who are  literally risking life and limb on the frontlines of a fight for democracy  and freedom. The implications of what occurs in the coming days,  weeks, and months has significant ramifications, not just for the  persons living in Hong Kong and its local economy, but the  international economy as a whole. Beyond the short term economic  consequences, this is a fight which could spread elsewhere, if the  actions of the increasingly fascistic authoritarian and expansionist  regime that is cracking down on citizens’ rights is not checked.    As the eyes of the world are on what happens in Hong Kong, now  more than ever it is critical that our governments do the right thing.   

Samtliga undertecknare återfinns hos ATA.

Amanda Wollstad är chefredaktör för Svensk Tidskrift