Amnesty International: Hong Kong: Mass arrests a disturbing sign for peaceful protest

2 July 2014 | Amnesty International

“This was not an illegal assembly; it was a peaceful and legitimate protest under international law. The police action was hasty and unnecessary and sets a disturbing precedent,” said Mabel Au, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong. “All those being held solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly must be immediately and unconditionally released,” said Mabel Au.

Amnesty International urges the Hong Kong authorities to release all those detained solely for peacefully protesting in pro-democracy demonstrations, after more than 500 people were arrested by police on Wednesday. Amnesty International also urges the authorities to ensure all those detained are given access to a lawyer of their choosing, after reports many lawyers had not been able to meet with their client.

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Big Four criticised by Amnesty International

2 July 2014 | Economia

The Big Four have faced criticism from human rights charity Amnesty International over an ad campaign criticising protests in Hong Kong

The firms published adverts in three Chinese-language newspapers, saying they were opposed to planned protests that might destabilise business in the Hong Kong financial district.

The adverts said protests would “inevitably” affect financial institutions and could result in multinational corporations moving headquarters from Hong Kong.

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AI: HK mass arrests send ‘disturbing signal for future protests’

2 July 2014 | Deutsche Welle

Hong Kong police arrested over 500 protesters who staged a sit-in after a pro-democracy rally, described as the city’s largest in years. In a DW interview, AI’s Mabel Au slams the police action as hasty and unnecessary.

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Amnesty International: Stop pursuing charges against peaceful protesters

2 July 2014 | Amnesty International

Petition

Dear Secretary Yuen,

I’m writing to urge the Hong Kong government to drop all investigations and criminal proceedings against peaceful protesters in conjunction with events on 1 and 2 July.

The twenty-five protesters, most of them students, under investigation for “illegal assembly”, “organizing and assisting in an illegal assembly” and “obstruction in a public place” and the five members of Civil Human Rights Front, who organized the 1 July march and are also under investigation, were only peacefully exercising their human rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.

Hong Kong is bound by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to respect and protect the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. These rights are protected by Articles 19 and 21 of the ICCPR, respectively and also Article 27 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, sometimes referred to as Hong Kong’s mini-constitution.

The Hong Kong police labelled the assembly as an “illegal assembly” as the organizers of the sit-in protest did not apply for “a letter of no objection” in accordance with Hong Kong’s Public Order Ordinance. However, the requirement to apply for “a letter of no objection” runs counter to the international human rights law, which does not require advance approval for holding a peaceful assembly.

I would like to remind you of the concluding observations of the UN Human Rights Committee following its consideration of Hong Kong’s report to the Committee on its implementation of the ICCPR in 2013. The Committee raised concerns that ‘the application in practice of certain terms contained in the Public Order Ordinance, inter alia, “disorder in public places” or “unlawful assembly”, which may facilitate excessive restriction to the Covenant rights’ and recommended that Hong Kong should ensure that the implementation of the Public Order Ordinance is in conformity with the Covenant.

Yours sincerely,

Amnesty International attacks ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms for opposition to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement

1 July 2014 | The Independent

Amnesty International have accused the “Big Four” international accounting firms of acting in “bad faith” after they took out newspaper adverts in Hong Kong saying they were “opposed” to the former British colony’s pro-democracy movement.

The human rights group joined sharp criticism of the extraordinary move by Ernst & Young, PwC, Deloitte and KPMG to publicly state their opposition to the Occupy Central movement calling for electoral reform in Hong Kong, which the corporations described as a threat to the rule of law.

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