In Defending Democracy Activists, Hong Kong Lawyers Navigate New Legal Terrain | Voice of America

HONG KONG – The aftermath of the 12 Hong Kong activists who fled the metropolis and were detained in Mainland China ongoing past 7 days, with the launch of Hong Kong law firm Daniel Wong Kwok-tung soon after 40 hours in police custody.  

Wong, 71, was arrested together with 10 other individuals over allegedly aiding Hong Kong activists flee the metropolis in August. Wong explained to a neighborhood media information meeting he was “perplexed” about why he was arrested.  

“I will stay standing in my role, with my abilities, do what I ought to and what I deeply believe in,” Wong stated as he was launched on bail.  

On August 23, 12 Hong Kong activists struggling with prison investigations in relation to anti-govt protests, have been detained at sea by Chinese authorities underneath suspicion of unlawful border crossing right after attempting to flee Hong Kong by boat for Taiwan. All were taken into detention in mainland China.  

On December 30, ten of the twelve activists were being sentenced to jail phrases in Shenzhen, China, ranging from seven months to 3 many years imprisonment. The two youngest detainees were being despatched again to Hong Kong.  

Timeline: The Effects of the Nationwide Stability Regulation on Hong Kong

Listed here is a timeline of developments given that China imposed nationwide protection laws in Hong Kong this calendar year

All through their detention, families of those people detained were being not authorized to take a look at, though Chinese authorities reportedly prevented household appointed legal professionals as their authorized illustration.  

Human legal rights businesses in Hong Kong said these were being examples of human rights violations.  

Du Tune, Government Director of the Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Problem Team (CHRLCG), claimed the detainees have faced “unjust treatment method in the legal approach.”  

 “They cannot appoint their own attorneys, the family members can not fulfill the detainees and the officials entirely utilized the prison course of action regulation and the border control through Covid19 as a suggests to bar the family members from the listening to,” Tune instructed VOA.  

“We discovered the pointed out are not meeting the international human rights typical at all,“ he mentioned.  

The case will come at a time of even further scrutiny of the legal technique in equally Hong Kong and China.  

Final 7 days, a Chinese human legal rights attorney, who managed the situation of the 12 activists, just lately had his licence revoked. Lu Siwei, was one of two human legal rights attorneys selected by the people but was not regarded by Chinese authorities and denied accessibility to the defendants.  

And earlier this month, U.S. human rights lawyer John Clancey was one particular of 55 folks arrested in Hong Kong in excess of inbound links with democratic key elections in July.  

Track thinks the long run of Hong Kong’s lawful technique is below threat amid the implementation of a controversial countrywide stability legislation and strain from Beijing.  

“Sentence by obscure articles or blog posts in the national security legislation, it is not satisfying any phrase of ‘one country, two programs.’ The time now is the darkest time of Hong Kong’s judicial program. Lawyers’ rights in Hong Kong may be an crucial concern just one day,” he added.  

Following Britain handed again Hong Kong to China in 1997, the ‘one country, two systems’ settlement was signed permitting Hong Kong a ‘high degree of autonomy’ until finally 2047. The town has freedoms unseen in Mainland China, which is governed by the Chinese Communist Celebration (CCP).   

Right after Hong Kong’s anti-govt protests in 2019, Beijing enacted the national stability legislation, prohibiting violations these types of as subversion, and succession. The legislation carries greatest sentences of lifestyle imprisonment and has been the catalyst for a political crackdown in the metropolis. Road protests have stopped although the activists have been arrested, jailed or fled the city.   

Dangle Tung Chow, a Hong Kong barrister and Vice-President of the Hong Kong Alliance, thinks that the trouble is the 12 activists have been prosecuted in the initially place.  

“The common instances is to ship them again just after some administrative detention, that would not final much more than 15 days.  

I consider they (authorities) preferred to make an case in point of these individuals, to intimidate the Hong Kong men and women from carrying out this form of matter yet again,” Chow advised VOA.  

Chow also thinks Hong Kong inhabitants in the city should really be less than no illusions about whom they are up in opposition to.  

“I assume Hong Kong people today have to encounter up to the simple fact that it is now the Chinese authorities they are dealing with, not just the Hong Kong authorities. I would say it’s a connect with to truth,” Chow included.