European Interest

European Parliament: Chinese authorities must drop all charges against Cardinal Joseph Zen and the trustees of the 612 Fund

Flickr/Etan Liam/CC BY-ND 2.0

On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the respect for human rights in Hong Kong.

Parliament condemns the arrests of Cardinal Joseph Zen, one of the strongest advocates of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, and of the other four trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund (which provides humanitarian and financial support to persons injured, arrested or threatened during the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill protests). MEPs point out that these and similar repressive actions, such as the closure of over 60 civil society groups, constitute an attack on the freedoms guaranteed in the Hong Kong Basic Law, including the freedom of religion or belief. They are also symptomatic of China’s continued efforts to systematically destroy the last remnants of Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms and to suppress the pro-democracy movement.

The resolution urges the Hong Kong authorities to drop all charges against Cardinal Zen and the other four trustees – Cyd Ho, Denise Ho, Hui Po-Keung and Margaret Ng – and to release Cyd Ho. In addition, MEPs reiterate their call on the EU to introduce targeted sanctions under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime against the newly appointed pro-Beijing Hong Kong Chief Executive, John Lee Ka-chiu, and all other officials responsible for the ongoing human rights crackdown in the city.

The text was adopted by show of hands.

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