After the Beijing and Hong Kong governments forcibly imposed the so-called “National Security Law” on us on 30 June 2020, I have been feeling more and more difficult to breathe. I bet other Hongkongers (at least those who treasure free speech) might feel the same.
When I started my career in journalism and then in the NGOs, I repeatedly heard from mainland activists exclaiming “Finally, I can breathe some air of freedom” when they first visited Hong Kong.
Now, that’s all gone. The pride of having a sound rule of law system, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and many other freedoms has all gone. I feel very much ashamed whenever I see the news about how the police arrest dissidents in the city and how the Hong Kong officials do whatever they can to please the Chinese government. …
Is the “National Security Law” for Hong Kong really a “law”?
The “National Security Law” for Hong Kong was announced and drafted by the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress. While the text was not made public until the last minutes when the National People’s Congress passed the “law”, there is simply no more discussion on the legitimacy of such a “law”.
Some legal academics have been enthusiastically discussing the content of the “law” and ignore the fact about the odd procedure of passing such a “law”, as if procedural justice is no longer an issue in the rule of law and as if we have no option but to accept that it is already a “law”. …
Activists from Kazakh human rights organisation Nagiz Atajurt, that has been documenting cases of Kazakhs and other ethnic groups being detained in the internment camps in the so-called Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (which is recognised among Kazakhs and other ethnic groups as “East Turkistan”), have demanded an explanation from a Kazakh academic who supported the Chinese government’s persecution of Kazakhs in China and has been recently appointed as the head of a Kazakh government-backed research institute.
Duken Masimhanuly, who was appointed to be the director of R.B.Suleimenov Institute of Oriental Studies in Kazakhstan on 2 June 2020, defended the Chinese government’s persecution of fellow Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslims groups during a TV interview earlier this year. …
Published in Hong Kong Free Press on 4 June 2020
By Patrick Poon
I still remember an evening sometime in November 2008 when I received a Skype message from Liu Xiaobo — “Do you have time to have a brief chat?”.
I was a bit surprised that somebody I read about from the 1989 Tiananmen protests and crackdown suddenly sent me that message. I said: “Sure. Thanks, Mr Liu.” Then, we had a brief conversation, the first time and the only time I had a private conversation with him. …
Published in Hong Kong Free Press on 20 May 2020
By Patrick Poon
Nobody really likes to endure the heat and humidity of Hong Kong’s streets when staging a protest, not to mention the potential risk of arrest and harsh treatment nowadays.
I believe most young people may have preferred to be playing video games and using Instagram before Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attempted to pass the controversial Anti-Extradition Bill in June 2019. But the Hong Kong government and the police managed to ensure the political awakening of the city’s young and middle-aged people who were previously perhaps uninterested in politics. …
中國政府於一月時仍堅稱沒有武漢肺炎，而且更否認有人傳人的情況， 李文亮醫生最初是提醒他的好朋友和舊同學他的擔憂，後來訊息被洩露出去， 結果他被訓戒，然後到了武漢和其他湖北省出現越來越多個案，中國政府無法再忍暪真相，才承認有武漢肺炎（武漢肺炎這說法也是出現在中國官方的資料，後來玻璃心驅使改稱新冠狀病毒和更難令一般人明白的學名COVID- 19）。
北京三名九十後年輕人陳玫、蔡偉和其女友小唐先後被公安帶走。陳玫和蔡偉是「端點星」網站的志願者，該網站建立在軟件開發平台Github上，備份微信、微博等中國大陸的社交媒體上因為被官方認為是敏感的文章和報導， 以「對抗網絡封鎖和審查」。自新冠狀病毒在大陸爆發之後，有不少大陸媒體關於追查病毒來源和追究官方防疫做法的報導，但很多很快被審查和刪除。「端點星」所做的就是備份這些報導， 「保存疫情記憶」。中國政府的態度當然是不想有人繼續紀錄這些質疑官方做法的報導，更明顯不想再有關於追查病毒來源的報導，這些熱心的年輕人不幸成為犧牲品。蔡偉及小唐的家屬分別於四月二十三日和二十四日收到北京公安朝陽分局「指定居所監視居住」的通知書，蔡偉被指「涉嫌尋釁滋事罪」，小唐同樣被指「涉嫌尋釁滋事罪」而更被指「涉嫌包庇罪」。陳玫則至今下落不明，家屬沒有收到任何通知。
Ten years ago, I co-drafted a statement about the revocation of legal practice licenses of Tang Jitian and Liu Wei, two prominent human rights lawyers in China, with the New York-based Committee to Support Chinese Lawyers when I was working at the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group. The Committee for Human Rights Protection of Taipei Bar Association also co-signed the statement.
Ten years on, surprisingly (or in fact not surprisingly), many of the concerns we raised in the statement, especially the relevant provisions of the PRC Law on Lawyers and other related regulations of the All-China Lawyers Association, remain the legal weapons for the Chinese authorities to disbar lawyers whom they accuse of stirring up trouble in courtrooms or any other behaviours, including expressing their opinions on social events online, that the Chinese government doesn’t like. …
As I’m writing the chapter on culture and freedom of expression in Hong Kong for my thesis, I’m writing this short passage to study the ridiculous nature and lawlessness of the Hong Kong police’s move today to arrest 15 pro-democracy activists for “illegal assembly”.
Amid the pandemic of COVID-19 (which evidently known to originate from Wuhan city in Hubei province in China), the Hong Kong government, obviously aided and abetted by the Chinese government, once again shocked the world to arrest organisers and participants of protests in Hong Kong. This time, Apple Daily’s founder Jimmy Lai, Martin Lee, veteran pro-democracy activist and founding chairman of Democratic Party of Hong Kong, former legislators Albert Ho, Margaret Ng, Lee Cheuk-yan, Leung Kwok-hung (better known as “Long Hair”), Yeung Sum, Cyd Ho, Sin Chung-kai and Au Nok-hin, lawmaker Leung Yiu-chung, activists Avery Ng, Raphael Wong, Figo Chan and Richard Tsoi are the 15 people arrested in the abrupt police raid on Saturday. …
Wrote this article for Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs:
It was always Nur’s dream to study in Japan. But when he said goodbye to his parents in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) to become a student in Tokyo, he had no way of knowing that his dream would turn into a nightmare.
Two years later, in April 2017, Nur (whose real name cannot be revealed for safety reasons) received an anxious phone call from his mother, telling him police in the XUAR had ordered him to return home. …