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Procedure : 2021/2786(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0388/2021

Texts tabled :

B9-0388/2021

Debates :

PV 08/07/2021 - 9.2
CRE 08/07/2021 - 9.2

Votes :

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2021)0356

<Date>{06/07/2021}6.7.2021</Date>
<NoDocSe>B9‑0388/2021</NoDocSe>
PDF 175kWORD 49k

<TitreType>MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION</TitreType>

<TitreSuite>with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>


<Titre>on Hong Kong, notably the case of Apple Daily</Titre>

<DocRef>(2021/2786(RSP))</DocRef>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Engin Eroglu, Petras Auštrevičius, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Dita Charanzová, Olivier Chastel, Nicola Danti, Vlad Gheorghe, Klemen Grošelj, Bernard Guetta, Svenja Hahn, Karin Karlsbro, Moritz Körner, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Nathalie Loiseau, Karen Melchior, Urmas Paet, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Michal Šimečka, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Ramona Strugariu, Hilde Vautmans, Marie‑Pierre Vedrenne</Depute>

<Commission>{Renew}on behalf of the Renew Group</Commission>

</RepeatBlock-By>

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0385/2021
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

B9‑0388/2021

European Parliament resolution on Hong Kong, notably the case of Apple Daily

(2021/2786(RSP))

The European Parliament,

  having regard to its resolutions of 21 January 2021 on the crackdown on the democratic opposition in Hong Kong(1) and of 17 December 2020 on forced labour and the situation of the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region(2)– having regard to its previous resolutions on China, in particular those of 20 May 2021 on Chinese countersanctions on EU entities and MEPs and MPs(6) and of 12 September 2018 on the state of EU-China relations(6) and of 16 December 2015 on EU-China relations(7),

  having regard to its previous recommendations relating to Hong Kong, in particular that of 13 December 2017 to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on Hong Kong, 20 years after handover(8),

  having regard to the declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU of 7 January 2021 on the mass arrest of people involved in the July 2020 pro-democracy primary elections in Hong Kong,

  having regard to the statement by the Spokesperson of the VP/HR on the sentencing of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong of 17 April 2021

  having regard to the adoption of the National Security Law in Hong Kong by the Standing Committee of the China’s National People’s Congress on 30 June 2020,

  having regard to the G7 Foreign Ministers’ statement of 17 June 2020 on Hong Kong,

  having regard to the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) adopted on 4 April 1990, which entered into force on 1 July 1997,

  having regard to the Joint Declaration of the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the question of Hong Kong of 19 December 1984, also known as the Sino-British Joint Declaration,

  having regard to Rule 144(5) and 132(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

 

  1. Whereas on 17th of June, 2021, five journalists were arrested under the National Security Law (NSL) and approximately 500 police officers raided the independent Hong Kong media outlet Apple Daily headquarters, forcing journalists to leave the newsroom, seizing their computers, phones and journalistic materials;

 

  1. whereas Hong Kong authorities have also frozen Apple Daily’s HK$18 million worth of assets (about €2 million) and its founder, Jimmy Lai’s, assets;

 

  1. whereas the closure of Apple Daily marks the first time that journalists have been arrested under the NSL and the second time the Hong Kong Police force has raided the offices of Apple Daily;

 

  1. whereas Apple Daily, which was independently owned and supportive of the pro-democracy movement, was the only remaining Chinese-language newspaper in Hong Kong that was free from Chinese government’s control;

 

  1. whereas 128 people have been arrested under the NSL to date and 64 individuals were charged since it came into force over one year ago under arbitrary accusations such as ‘colluding with foreign forces’;

 

  1. whereas Hong Kong’s place on the World Press Freedom Index has dropped from the 18th place in 2002 to the 80th place in 2021;

 

  1. whereas the Hong Kong government argued that the NSL ‘would ensure stability’, it has instead been used to silence dissidents and pro-democracy activists;

 

 

  1. Strongly condemns the forced closure of Apple Daily newspaper and the continued freezing of its assets by the Hong Kong authority; Underlines that the closure of Apple Daily is another attempt by the PRC to dismantle the free society in Hong Kong by restricting the right to free expression through the suppression of independent media, and harassment of businesses, while depriving those accused of activism of fair trials;

 

  1. Is alarmed by the rapid deteriorating human rights situation in Hong Kong, specifically the open attacks against the freedom of speech and freedom of the press, as the PRC continues to undertake an unprecedented crackdown on fundamental freedoms;

 

  1. Reiterates its grave concern over the implementation of the NSL at the end of June 2020 and recognizes that the law has been used numerous times as grounds for disqualifying and imprisoning electoral candidates and politicians, arresting students over social media posts and banning common protest slogans;

 

  1. Is concerned about growing authoritarian nationalism rhetoric in China and Hong Kong; Condemns the adoption of the “patriots-only rule” which will install a new vetting committee to screen election candidates, with the purpose of weeding out any last remaining dissenting voices, cementing Beijing’s control of the governing body in Hong Kong;

 

  1. Notes that the targeting of journalists under the NSL runs in direct contravention of Hong Kong’s Basic Law, which guarantees a free press, and the Hong Kong Government’s obligation to uphold the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; condemns the emerging restrictions on the independence of the judiciary and the increasing politicization of courts; therefore urges the authorities to respect Hong Kong’s rule of law, human rights, democratic principles and high degree of autonomy under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle until its 2047 expiry date, as enshrined in the Hong Kong Basic Law and in line with domestic and international obligations;

 

  1. Expresses grave concern regarding reports of individuals being mistreated or tortured the Hong Kong Police Force and in Hong Kong jails, including those currently awaiting trial who are being held in solitary confinement for long-periods of time;

 

  1. Advocates for the extension of the scope for the European Endowment of Democracy to projects located in South-East Asia so that civil society in Hong Kong is further supported as the crackdown continues;

 

  1. Stresses the importance of the independence of the judiciary in Hong Kong and notes recent reports that pro-Beijing lawmakers have blocked the appointment of a senior judge to the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal;

 

  1. Notes the decision by the Hong Kong Police Force to ban the annual June 4 Tiananmen Square vigil and the annual July 1 march, while granting special permission for the waiving of COVID-restrictions to allow Hong Kong officials to celebrate the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party;

 

  1. Recalls its position that any consideration of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), as well as any discussion on ratification by the European Parliament, are justifiably frozen  because of the Chinese sanctions in place against the Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), European Members of Parliament (MPs) and European think tanks; Stresses that, may the sanctions be lifted, any future consideration of the CAI by the Parliament will take into regard the human rights situation in China, particularly the situation in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and the PRC’s commitment to uphold the Sino-British Joint Declaration;

 

  1. Is alarmed by the introduction of a National Security Law’s whistle-blower hotline and the official vetting of education materials and curriculums in primary and secondary schools, including international schools attended by expatriate children, in relation to the draconian law; 

 

  1. Calls on the Hong Kong government to end all legal harassment and all intimidation directed at journalists and to strive for the protection and the safety of journalists against all forms of violence, pressure, discrimination, unfair legal proceedings and all attempts aimed at preventing them from accomplishing their mission or of weakening their ability to do so in accord with international norms, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

 

  1.  Calls for the Hong Kong Government to guarantee that all national security trials will take place with a jury and the press present;

 

  1.  Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all journalists, human rights defenders and activists arrested under the NSL, including the arrest of Jimmy Lai, the owner of Apple Daily, and Fung Wai-Kong a senior editorial writer of Apple Daily newspaper who was arrested at Hong Kong International Airport on 27 June 2021;

 

  1. Calls on the EU and its member states to give the lost voice back to the people of Hong Kong by assisting with the archiving, publicizing, documenting human rights violations, and to counteract the PRC by making books banned in Hong Kong widely available online;

 

  1. Calls on Member State to have conversations with banks operating in the EU to release assets belonging to Hong Kong pro-democracy activists and frozen by orders relating to charges under the NSL, including exiled former lawmaker Ted Hui and church pastor Roy Chan;

 

  1.  Reiterates its call on the Member States to suspend their extradition treaties with both the PRC and Hong Kong, to prevent the extradition of, for example, citizens of Hong Kong, Uyghurs, Tibetans or Chinese dissidents in Europe to stand political trial in the PRC and/or Hong Kong;

 

  1. Urges the Council to bypass the current veto by one Member State and press ahead with the adoption and implementation of an EU lifeboat scheme for Hong Kongers and other oppressed minorities in the next few months;

 

  1. Urges the Council to increase the number of academic and training opportunities within the Erasmus scheme for Hong Kongers to come and study in the EU and ensure that this information is communicated to them; stresses the importance of ensuring academic freedom of Hong Kong students in the EU;

 

  1.  Urges the Commission to consider issuing emergency travel documents for journalists in Hong Kong who are at risk of arrest under the NSL;

 

  1.  Strongly urges the Council to promptly consider using the Global Human Rights Sanctions Mechanism (also known as the EU Magnitsky Act) to propose targeted sanctions including the implementation of travel bans and asset freezes against Chinese and Hong Kong officials involved with the imposition of the NSL in Hong Kong and those who are guilty of human rights abuses against Hong Kongers, Uyghurs, Tibetans, and other religious and ethnic minorities within China, including Carrie Lam, Teresa Yeuk-wah Cheng, Xia Baolong, Xiaoming Zhang, Luo Huining, Zheng Yanxiong, Ping-kien Tang, Wai-Chung Lo and Ka-chiu Lee;

 

  1.  Calls for the EU to push for the UN Secretary-General or the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to appoint a UN Special Envoy or Special Rapporteur on the situation in Hong Kong, joining in with the initiative by the Chairs of the UK, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand Foreign Affairs Committees; calls on the Council and the VP/HR to work with the international community to establish an international contact group on Hong Kong;

 

  1. Calls on the Council and the Commission to introduce rules to prevent European investment in companies complicit in gross human rights violations in China and Hong Kong, including the adoption of an entities list;

 

  1. Calls on the Commission to undertake an audit of the long term commercial impact for EU firms operating in Hong Kong in light of the implementation of Hong Kong's NSL, with reference to changing rule of law and free flows of information and capital in the city;

 

  1. Calls on the EU Commission, Council and Member States to consider declining invitations for government representatives and diplomats to attend the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics games, unless the Chinese government demonstrates a verifiable improvement in the human rights situation in Hong Kong, the Xinjiang Uyghur Region and elsewhere in China;

 

  1. Calls on the European External Action Service and the EU’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments to propose an election observation mission to the Hong Kong SAR’s Legislative election in December 2021, in order to ensure these follow the highest standards of democratic suffrage;

 

  1.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Government and the National People’s Congress Standing Committee of the People’s Republic of China, and the Chief Executive and the Assembly of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

 

 

 

 

 

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