ASIA & AUSTRALIA
Hong Kong is no longer the same Hong Kong: Two million peaceful demonstrators and record high police brutality
Hong Kong used to be called the shining pearl of the East. The combination of Chinese traditional culture and the British rule of law made Hong Kong the world’s third biggest financial center. During a period of 156 years the British colonialists and the Chinese people in Hong Kong peacefully learned how to co-exist, cooperate and finally co-manage this mega city. Parallel to the introduction of the rule of law and the absence of communist destruction of the Chinese culture, universal values imbedded in the culture such as humanity and compassion were kept vibrant. Both Hong Kong residents and international visitors have always felt safe and happy in Hong Kong.
Good time doesn’t last forever, it seems. In the space of six months, a city known for being safe and peaceful, with an efficient police force known for restrictive use of force, became a city charged with tension, police violence, massive protest and civil disobedience. 22 years after the handover of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China, many places where people demonstrated turned into a battle field. More than 5,000 people were arrested by police. But only 6 percent were prosecuted. Many were brutally beaten, some reported tortured and raped in police custody. More than 10,000 teargas shots were fired since June. But it all started with totally peaceful demonstrations against an extradition bill which would enable Hong Kong government extradite any person from Hong Kong to mainland China, if so requested by Beijing. There were one million people on the street, on the 9th of June and a two million on 16th of June; all very peaceful. The unjustifiable use of force from the police escalated the violence. The way Hong Kong police behaved, reminds much of the behavior of the communist police in mainland China. All these showed that the human rights situation in Hong Kong has seriously deteriorated. The invisible hand directing the whole process behind the scenes is the Chinese Communist Party, CCP.
The CCP propaganda justified the police brutality by claiming a minority of Hong Kong “rioters” were disrupting social order, as if the majority of Hong-kongers stand with the party. On November 24 a district parliament election took place and this can be seen as a referendum on CCP and its puppet; the Hong Kong government. The result was a tremendous slam on the communist leadership. The anti-communist and democratic parties won 18 of total 19 districts, a record landslide victory. “A small number of rioters”?
Why were the people of Hong Kong so determined and courageous in saying no to the party? One single reason explained it all. The party promised no change of political system in Hong Kong after handover and that the autonomy of Hong Kong called “one country two systems” will continue 50 years till 2047. We are now in the year of 2019; CCP has tried again and again to change the system. A few milestone attempts: year 2003, four years after the start of the brutal persecution of Falun Gong, CCP leaders got really upset when Falun Gong practitioners in Hong Kong were enjoying their human rights and freedom so that they could do their exercises publicly in many Hong Kong parks. The Falun Gong practitioners could freely hand out flyers to millions of mainland Chinese visitors. CCP then forced Hong Kong to introduce a new law, the article 23, which basically say all organizations in mainland defined as illegal by CCP are automatically illegal in Hong Kong. No change for fifty years? 550,000 Hong Kong citizens took to the Streets and protested. It was a huge surprise for the dictators and they withdrew the bill. Now, this year CCP instructed the Hong Kong government to introduce an extradition bill. This time 2 million took to the street. All the police brutality marshalled against that protest, could not stop people protesting.
After three months of protests, Hong Kong government withdrew the bill and thereby fulfilled one of the five demands, which were:
- To withdraw the bill
- To start an independent investigation on police brutality
- To cease naming protesters as rioters
- To release all arrested demonstrators
- To conduct a full democratic election, not just the parliament but also the election of the governor.
The majority of the people of Hong Kong insist that all of the five demands must be met. The people of Hong Kong are fighting for their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. It is my humble opinion that the German government should take a clear stand in support of the people of Hong Kong; not just the moral equivocations resident in such slogans like: “we ask both sides to eschew violence”.
Between good and evil, neutrality is not an option. Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong!
Manyan Ng, ISHR Germany