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Advancing a peaceful transition to democracy in China through truth, understanding, citizen power, & cooperative action

Statement on the Prosecution of Student Leaders in Hong Kong

On August 27, 2015, the Hong Kong Police officially prosecuted three student leaders, Alex Chow, Nathan Law and Joshua Wong for their leadership in last year’s Umbrella Movement, a fight for genuine universal suffrage.  Alex Chow and Nathan Law are former and current Secretaries-General of the Hong Kong Federation of Students.  They played an important role in leading the Umbrella Movement and were present during the only dialogue with the Hong Kong Government.  In April, during the Tenth InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference hosted by Initiatives for China/Citizen Power for China, the Hong Kong Federation of Students was among the first recipients of the Citizen Power Award.  We are gravely concerned about the development of their case, and we express our solemn protest against this evil initiative by the Chinese authorities.
 

Student Leaders: Nathan Law, Alex Chow, and Joshua Wong. (Reuters)
We note that the prosecution coincides with the first anniversary of the August 31 decision of the National People’s Congress prohibiting popular selection of candidates by of people in Hong Kong.  We cannot help but wonder why the Hong Kong police did not prosecute the three student leaders until almost one year after the Umbrella Movement started. Obviously, the Chinese officials are afraid of another protest on the first anniversary of the announcement of the the People’s Congress decision last year, and the prosecution aims to intimidate the people of Hong Kong. Certainly the conduct on which the false charges are based was open and known worldwide. It hardly seems coincidental that the leader of the Hong Kong Social Democratic Union, Huang Yongzhi, was arrested at the end of this April, approximately one year after the protest against the high-speed rail project on May4, 2014.  Even the judge in that case was so surprised at the timing that he challenged the prosecutors in court as to why they did not prosecute the defendant until a full year later. This reveals the fear of the Chinese government of the real sentiment of the Hong People-a fear that has led it to force the Hong Kong police to behave so unprofessionally. 
 

Hong Kong Umbrella Movement student leader Alex Chow speaks on the 10th Interethnic Interfaith Leadership Conference.
The political prosecution manipulated by the Chinese government undoubtedly further damages rule of law in Hong Kong.  We would like to remind President Xi, who tries to wrap himself in the mantle of “rule of law,” that the such practice of unjustified and inexplicably long-delayed prosecution can be an abuse of the judicial “due process” to which three defendants are entitled under the Chinese Constitution.
Initiatives for China/Citizen Power will unconditionally support the three defendants in defending their legitimate rights, just as we will continue to support the democracy movement in Hong Kong.  We warn the Chinese authorities that: “The Red Terror you create simply reveals your fear.  And the more terror created, the more fear revealed. And it is in such terror and fear that you will eventually drown yourselves.” 
Nathan Law receives the first Citizen Power Award on behalf of Hong Kong Federation of Students
We also call on the United States and all other nations following due process, and the United Nations to press Chinese authorities to follow their own constitution and laws to ensure the defendants have a fair trial, and especially one free from fake confessions procured by ill treatment, torture and any other hash means.
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