07/02/2021, 19.37
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Exiled activists call on UN to investigate human rights abuse in Hong Kong

UNHRC chief Bachelet is urged to look into the former British colony, as well as Xinjiang. China claims there are more rights in Hong Kong now than under British rule. Yesterday Xi celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Communist Party of China. Hong Kong papers marked the event with front pages in red, with no Apple Daily on newsstands.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Activists in self-imposed exile from the former British colony are urging the United Nations to investigate the situation in Hong Kong following the imposing of China’s national security law. 

Nathan Law, Glacier Kwong and Victoria Hui appeared via videoconference at an event organised by the UN Human Rights Council.

Hui asked UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to visit China’s  Hong Kong, not just Xinjiang, during her planned visit to China to verify allegations of abuse against Uyghurs, the Hong Kong Free Press reported.

According to the activist, in Hong Kong Bachelet should talk to political prisoners and question the territory’s national security judges.

For all three activists, the former British colony is now a 'police state', a view shared by Amnesty International, a view rejected by local authorities who claim that the security measures are not used against the city’s traditional freedoms.

According to the current Hong Kong government, local residents enjoy more rights now than during British colonial administration. However, an example of how the local and central government have undermined the rule of law is the closure of Apple Daily, the independent newspaper founded by pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai.

The tabloid last hit the newsstands on 24 June; before that, the police had arrested some of its executives and journalists, as well as froze HK$ 18 million (US$ 2.3 million) in assets owned  by Next Digital, the company that published the newspaper. Lai has been in prison since December.

Yesterday the front page of many Hong Kong newspapers was in red to celebrate the anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

This is the first time that the transition from British to Chinese rule was celebrated without the presence of Apple Daily. Yesterday was also the first time since 2003 that the traditional 1 July pro-democracy march was not held.

As he marked the party's centenary yesterday, Chinese President Xi Jinping made it clear that the formula "one country, two systems" – the basis of Hong Kong's limited autonomy – must also ensure national security. For the Chinese leader, this leaves no room for the demands of pro-democracy groups.

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