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Hong Kong

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:42 pm on 2nd July 2019.

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Photo of Helen Goodman Helen Goodman Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 12:42 pm, 2nd July 2019

The Hong Kong situation is spiralling out of control very fast now. It is unfortunate that, in the absence of a Minister with responsibility for the far east, the Foreign Secretary is not in his place. I agree with the remarks of Mr Carmichael. He set out well the events of yesterday. I want to concentrate on four questions for the Government. First, Hong Kongers have made it abundantly clear that they want the disastrous extradition laws to be abandoned for good. That is not an unreasonable request. Will the Government finally take the side of the Hong Kong people and call on Carrie Lam to scrap this legislation?

Secondly, I welcome and agree with the Foreign Secretary’s call for a public inquiry into the actions of the Hong Kong police force. Evidence has emerged that the order to fire tear gas on the protesters was given by Superintendent Justin Shave, a British expat now serving with the Hong Kong police, and that two other expat chief superintendents were two of the most senior officers in charge of crowd control on that day in June. What are Ministers doing to bring to book these British citizens who ordered the police brutality?

Thirdly, after firing rubber bullets on the protesters, the Hong Kong authorities accessed hospital data records in order to arrest them. That is random and unfair. Will the Minister join me in condemning this appalling behaviour? Clearly, yesterday, the events in the Legislative Council were unacceptable, but the police tactics appeared to have been totally confused. Finally, the root cause of the chaos is the fundamental democratic deficit in Hong Kong. The rights enshrined in the Basic Law and the promises to move towards universal suffrage are being trampled on. When will the Government listen to the voices of the citizens of Hong Kong and put democratic reform back on the agenda?