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B9-0364/2022
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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the arrest of Cardinal Zen and the trustees of the 612 relief fund in Hong Kong

5.7.2022 - (2022/2751(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Raffaele Fitto, Anna Fotyga, Charlie Weimers, Witold Jan Waszczykowski, Ladislav Ilčić, Adam Bielan, Valdemar Tomaševski, Elżbieta Kruk, Veronika Vrecionová, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Dominik Tarczyński, Alexandr Vondra, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Hermann Tertsch, Vincenzo Sofo, Nicola Procaccini
on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0358/2022

Menetlus : 2022/2751(RSP)
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B9‑0364/2022

European Parliament resolution on the arrest of Cardinal Zen and the trustees of the 612 relief fund in Hong Kong

(2022/2751(RSP))

The European Parliament,

  having regard to its previous resolutions on Hong Kong, notably that of  20 January 2022 on violations of fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong, that of 8 July 2021 on Hong Kong, notably the case of Apple Daily, of 21 January 2021 on the crackdown on the democratic opposition in Hong Kong and of 19 June 2020 on the People’s Republic of China (PRC) National Security Law for Hong Kong and the need for the EU to defend Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy,

 

  having regard to its recommendation 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,

 

  having regard to the HR/VP Declaration of 8 May 2022  on the Chief Executive election held on 8 May,

 

  having regard to the Basic Law of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Hong Kong 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 (PRC) on the Question of Hong Kong of 19 December 1984, also known as the Sino-British Joint Declaration, registered by the Chinese and British governments at the United Nations on 12 June 1985,

 

  having regard to the European Commission’s 24th Annual Report on Hong Kong, published on 20 May 2022,

 

  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

 

  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966,

 

  having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,

 

 

  1. whereas on 11 May 2022, Hong Kong’s National Security Police arrested four trustees of the defunct 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, including barrister Margaret Ng, singer Denise Ho, 90-year old Cardinal Joseph Zen, and academic scholar Hui Po-keung, for ‘collusion with foreign forces.’; whereas the four were released on bail; whereas a fifth trustee, Cyd Ho, was already in jail, but was arrested for the same charge on 12 May;

 

  1. whereas Cardinal Zen has long been a critic of the government in Beijing, speaking out for Catholics in mainland China and for more democracy in Hong Kong;

 

  1. whereas the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which funded legal aid to pro-democracy protestors  throughout the 2019 pro-democracy movement, closed its operations in 2021;

 

  1. whereas under the pretext of state security and in violation of Hong Kong’s Basic Law, Beijing over the past years has dismantled the right to free expression, freedom of assembly, a free press, democracy, and the rule of law; whereas in the first half of 2022, Beijing continued its crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, with multiple arrests of pro-democracy activists and media personalities;

 

  1. whereas the Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) Press Freedom Index, released on 3 May, saw Hong Kong plummet 68 places in 2022 to 148th place;

 

  1. whereas Christians in mainland China face the worst persecution since Mao’s Cultural Revolution of the 1960s with also persecution of Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners and Hui Muslims has intensified; whereas the Chinese Communist Party’s totalitarian approach has engulfed Hong Kong in recent years; whereas pro-Beijing media such as Ta Kung Pao have been publishing articles attacking churches in Hong Kong and threatening further restrictions, while the Good Neighbor North District Church has been raided by police and the bank account of the church and its pastor were frozen by HSBC under pressure from the authorities;

 

  1. whereas on 8 May 2022, John Lee, a career policeman and former Secretary for Security in the Hong Kong government, was elected as new Chief Executive with 1,416 votes from the 1,461-member ‘patriots only’ selection committee, which is mostly comprised of pro-Beijing politicians and businesspeople; whereas he was sworn in as Hong Kong’s new leader on 1 July;

 

  1. whereas Lee has promised to prioritise the passing of domestic Article 23 national security legislation as Chief Executive, and has previously called for a so called “fake news” law to target remaining independent news outlets in the city and praised the crackdown on human rights in the city;

 

  1. whereas the European Union has a strong stake in the continued stability and prosperity of Hong Kong under the ‘One Country Two Systems’ principle and attaches great importance to the preservation of Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, in line with the Basic Law and with international commitments;

 

 

***

 

  1. Condemns the arrest of Cardinal Zen and other trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund;  considers the arrest of a 90-year-old cardinal for his peaceful activities a new low for Hong Kong, illustrating the city's free fall in human rights in the past two years;

 

  1. Calls on the Hong Kong Government to immediately drop the charges against Cardinal Zen, the other trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund and all peaceful Hong Kong protesters arrested in the last few years, who simply exercised their right to freedom of expression or other human rights; calls on the authorities to release all political prisoners in Hong Kong;

 

  1. Reiterates it solidarity with the people of Hong Kong in their fight for freedom and democracy;

 

  1. Regrets the violation of democratic principles and political pluralism in the selection process of the new Chief Executive and considers it as another step in the dismantling of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle;

 

  1. Calls on the Hong Kong Chief Executive to withdraw plans to introduce Article 23 national security legislation and to recommit to upholding the Basic Law which guarantees freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion and belief;

 

  1. Deplores the decision by the Hong Kong authorities to ban, for the third consecutive year, the annual 4 June Tiananmen Square vigil;

 

  1. Reiterates its calls on the authorities to respect Hong Kong’s rule of law, human rights, democratic principles and high degree of autonomy, as enshrined in the Hong Kong Basic Law and in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and in line with domestic and international obligations;

 

  1. Warns that freedom of religion or belief, enshrined in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, might be the next freedom cherished by the people of Hong Kong to come under fire;

 

  1. Calls on the Council to introduce targeted Magnitsky style sanctions under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime against Hong Kong and Chinese officials responsible for the ongoing human rights crackdown;

 

  1. Expresses disappointment that EU officials attended official celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the handover Hong Kong hosted by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, and notes that this undermines efforts to coordinate a robust and unified European response to the human rights crisis in Hong Kong;

 

  1. Reiterates with urgency its call for EU Member States to implement the EU Council conclusions of 28 July 2020 and introduce lifeboat schemes for Hong Kong pro-democracy activists and journalists who remain at risk of imprisonment under the ongoing crackdown on human rights; reiterates the need to set a clear timeline for the implementation of the package of measures of July 2020;

 

  1. calls on the Commission and the Member States to review the Agreement between the European Community and Hong Kong, China on cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters, the status of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels, and the EU’s support for Hong Kong’s seat at the World Trade Organization;

 

  1. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the European External Action Service, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the accession and candidate countries, the Government and Parliament of the People’s Republic of China, and the Chief Executive and the Assembly of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

 

 

 

Viimane päevakajastamine: 5. juuli 2022
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