I am writing to you, my local MP, to call upon you to ensure that Britain upholds its obligations under the terms of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration.
This legally-binding treaty guaranteed that, for 50 years after 1997, Hongkongers’ rights, freedoms and way of life would be ensured by law. In particular, the Declaration guaranteed that Hongkongers would enjoy fundamental freedoms, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly, among others.
China has breached the terms of this Declaration on many occasions, eroding the executive, legislative and judicial institutions that are supposed to safeguard Hongkongers’ civil and political rights and freedoms.
The latest breach comes in the form of the Extradition Bill, which would allow dissidents in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face trial. The Bill provoked massive and ongoing protests with nearly two million people taking to the streets.
In spite of her declaration that “the Bill is dead”, Chief Executive Carrie Lam has not formally withdrawn it.
Hong Kong’s fundamental freedoms are under attack. Police brutality against protesters and journalists has escalated, shielded by a government that is not accountable to the people.
Britain has a unique legal, historical and moral responsibility to ensure the Declaration’s implementation. That is why we are calling upon British parliamentarians to impose sanctions on those persons responsible for or complicit in suppressing Hongkongers’ human rights and freedoms. We are also calling upon Britain to include provisions on human rights, civil liberties and democratisation in any post-Brexit agreements with Hong Kong and China. Britain must stand with Hong Kong.
I urge you to write to the Foreign Secretary and ask them what concrete steps they will take to uphold the Declaration and take steps to put in place sanctions against persons that are involved in undermining freedom in Hong Kong.
Please send a strong message to our new Prime Minister that Britain must stand by its promises and defend Hong Kong’s freedom.