Hong Kong

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:43 am on 26th September 2019.

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Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Labour, Hornsey and Wood Green 10:43 am, 26th September 2019

Throughout the summer, Hong Kong has remained gripped by protests, with tens of thousands of demonstrators filling the streets each weekend to demand their fundamental rights. Although the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, has announced that the controversial extradition Bill will finally be withdrawn, this for some is far too little too late. The level of protest has grown in the face of brutal police repression, and I have been appalled by the way that protesters have been beaten by police officers and gangs rumoured to be associated with the Hong Kong Government.

Basic democratic freedoms of the press, the right to assemble and the right to protest are enshrined in the Sino-British joint declaration, an internationally recognised treaty to which we are of course a signatory. In the past few weeks, protesters have also been gathering outside the British consulate in Hong Kong demanding that our Government do more. Will the Foreign Secretary please tell the House what contact he has had with the Hong Kong Government about the ongoing protests in Hong Kong and specifically on the issue of police brutality? What dialogue has he had with the Hong Kong Government to promote a move towards universal suffrage as per the joint declaration? What steps are the Government taking to support any holders of a British national overseas passport in Hong Kong who are facing undue risk or harassment as a result of taking part in the protests? Finally, when will the next six-monthly report on the joint declaration be published?