URGENT APPEAL - THEOBSERVATORY
HKG 001 / 1120 / OBS 132
Arbitrary detention /
November 25, 2020
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership ofFIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgentintervention in the following situation in Hong Kong.
Description of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about thearbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Messrs. Joshua Wong and IvanLam, and Ms. Agnes Chow Ting, three pro-democracy activists, inconnection with their participation in a demonstration in June 2019, during thewave of protests against the proposed draft extradition law in the SpecialAdministrative Region.
According to the informationreceived, on November 23, 2020, Messrs. Joshua Wong, Ivan Lam and Ms. AgnesChow Ting were summoned to appear before West Kowloon Magistrates' Court regarding theiralleged participation in a demonstration in front of Hong Kong Police Headquarterson June 21, 2019, to demand retraction of the official characterisation of theprotests as "riots". Mr. Joshua Wong pleaded guilty to the charge of"inciting and organising an illegal gathering", but pleaded notguilty to the charge of “knowingly participating in an illegal rally”. Mr. IvanLam pleaded guilty to "incitement", while Ms. Agnes Chow Ting pleadedguilty to "inciting and participating in the demonstration". Theseoffences are punishable with up to five years' imprisonment. The three humanrights defenders were held in pre-trial custody after the hearing and arecurrently detained at Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre. The verdict in the caseinvolving all three defendants is expected to be delivered on December 2, 2020.
The Observatory recallsthat this is not the first time that Mr. Joshua Wong and Ms. Agnes Chow Tinghave been targeted because of their legitimate exercise of their right tofreedom of peaceful assembly. Mr. Joshua Wong is currently subject to severallegal proceedings. Both Mr. Joshua Wong and Ms. Agnes Chow Ting were arrestedvarious times in the past 18 months.
The Observatorycondemns the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Messrs. JoshuaWong, Ivan Lam and Ms. Agnes Chow Ting, which seem to be only aimed at punishingthem for the exercise of their right to freedom of peaceful assembly, and callson the authorities of Hong Kong to immediately and unconditionally releasethem, and to put an end to any acts of harassment, including at the judiciallevel, against them and all other pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.
Please write to the authorities of Hong Kong asking them to:
i.Immediately and unconditionally release Messrs. Joshua Wong, Ivan Lam and Ms.Agnes Chow Ting;
ii. Guaranteein all circumstances the physical integrity and psychological well-being ofMessrs. Joshua Wong, Ivan and Ms. Agnes Chow Ting;
iii. Putan end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, againstMessrs. Joshua Wong, Ivan Lam, Ms. Agnes Chow Ting, and all other human rightsdefenders in Hong Kong, and ensure they are able to carry out their activitieswithout hindrance and fear for reprisals;
iv.Respect, protect, and fulfil Hong Kong’s obligations in accordance with Article21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on theright to freedom of peaceful assembly;
v.Conform to all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human RightsDefenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particularits Articles 1, and 12;
vi.Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedomsin accordance with international human rights standards and internationalinstruments applicable to Hong Kong.
- Ms. Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Email: email@example.com, Phone: +852 2878 3300, Fax: +852 2509 0580;
- Ms. Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, Secretary for Justice, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , Phone: +852 2867 2198, Fax: +852 3918 4249;
- Mr. Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Chief Secretary for Administration, Email: email@example.com, Fax: +852 2882 0099;
- Mr. Patrick Nip Tak-kuen, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , Fax: +852 2810 2059;
Pleasealso write to the diplomatic representations of Hong Kong in your respectivecountries.
Paris-Geneva, November 25, 2020
Kindly inform us of any action undertakenquoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
The Observatory for theProtection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 byFIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of thisprogramme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rightsdefenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented byinternational civil society.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergencyline:
· E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
· Tel and fax FIDH +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
· Tel and fax OMCT +41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / +41 22 809 49 29
 See theObservatory Press Release “Hong Kong: Immediately release for pro-democracyactivists”, published on August 30, 2020, and available here:https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/hong-kong-immediately-release-four-pro-democracy-activists