MEPs call on EU to consider lawsuit against China over Hong Kong  

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  • MEPs strongly condemn the new law as an assault on Hong Kong’s autonomy  
  • UN Special Envoy should be appointed for Hong Kong  
  • EU should address the issue of the national security law for Hong Kong as a top priority at the upcoming EU-China Summit  

Parliament recommends that EU and members states file a case before the International Court of Justice, if the new national security law for Hong Kong is applied.

In a resolution adopted on Friday by 565 votes to 34, with 62 abstentions, the European Parliament voted in favour of bringing China before the International Court of Justice over its decision to adopt a new national security law for semi-autonomous Hong-Kong.

In the text, MEPs “call on the EU and its Member States to consider, in the event the new security law is applied, filing a case before the International Court of Justice alleging that China’s decision to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong violates the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).”

They also strongly condemn the new law as an assault on the city’s autonomy, as well as China’s constant and increasing interference in Hong Kong’s internal affairs. MEPs call for the jailed pro-democracy activists and peaceful demonstrators to be released and for charges against them to be dropped. They want to see a UN Special Envoy appointed to deal specifically with the situation in Hong Kong.

The European Parliament is greatly concerned by the steady deterioration of civil and political rights, and press freedom in Hong Kong and calls for an independent and impartial investigation into the police’s use of force against pro-democracy protesters.

It finally strongly urges EU member states in the Council and the EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell to address the issue of the national security law for Hong Kong as a top priority at the upcoming EU-China Summit on Monday, 22 June, (via video conference) and at the planned EU-China Leaders meeting, as well as other human rights issues, such as the situation of the Uyghurs.

The resolution as adopted will be available in full here (19.06.2020).

Background

Residents of Hong Kong have recently taken to the streets to protest against a new controversial national security law for the city, which was approved by mainland China’s legislature in May. Many observers fear the Chinese Communist Party’s new measures will effectively suffocate all the remaining freedoms and autonomy enjoyed by the special administrative region under the so-called “one country, two systems” principle.

The former British colony has been rocked by demonstrations, followed by a massive wave of street protests and violent clashes since last year, ever since the Hong Kong Executive put forward a new law in the spring of 2019 that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China, plunging the city into its worst political crisis in modern history.