The European Parliament has today expressed concern about the human rights situation in Hong Kong, voting amongst other things to call for the EU and member states to work towards export control mechanisms to deny China, and in particular Hong Kong, access to technologies ‘used to violate basic rights’. Reacting to this news Eve Geddie, Director of the Amnesty International, European Institutions Office, said:
“Today’s European Parliament vote calling, amongst other things, for export control mechanisms to deny China, and in particular Hong Kong, access to technologies used to violate human rights shows that the international community will not stand by while the Hong Kong police inflicts disproportionate and unlawful violence on peaceful protestors.”
“EU member states must now immediately suspend all exports of less lethal crowd control equipment – such as tear gas and rubber bullets – that risk being used unlawfully to threaten legitimate protests. In doing so, they would show their commitment to upholding the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
As recently as last weekend the Hong Kong police used batons and pepper spray on peaceful protesters, including hitting protesters on the head and neck. Journalist movements were limited and they had pepper spray sprayed on them by the police. Some police officers hid their IDs deliberately in the protests.
Amnesty International reiterates that the Extradition Law Amendment Bill must be officially withdrawn. The excessive use of force by police on 12 June was a violation of international law and standards. The Hong Kong government must establish an Independent Commission of Inquiry to conduct an independent, impartial, effective and prompt investigation into the excessive use of force in this event.