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Message in banner held up by police, July 1, 2020, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong: “This is a police warning. You are displaying flags or banners/chanting slogans, or conducting yourselves with an intent such as secession or subversion, which may constitute offences under the ‘HKSAR National Security Law.’ You may be arrested or prosecuted.” The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was passed by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee Standing Committee (NPCSC) on June 30, 2020 and went into force the same day at 11:00 p.m. It was inserted in Annex III of the Basic Law of Hong Kong as one of the national laws applicable in Hong Kong.
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Sharon Hom: “An agreement without human rights clauses or obligations in effect provides a blank check for an authoritarian regime and, frankly, leaves the companies to their own devices to address, ignore, or be complicit in human rights violations.”
In the Joint Appeal, HRIC joins 35 NGOs and labor unions around the world to express grave concerns that the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI)—reached between leaders of the two governments in December 2020—“sends a signal that the European Union will push for closer cooperation...
HRIC joins 23 NGOs and individuals in urging the Biden Administration to prioritize human rights in U.S-China policy as the “scope and scale of human rights violations committed by the Chinese government inside and outside the country require a fundamental shift.” February 17, 2021 Joseph R. Biden...
Guo Feixiong ( 郭飞雄 ) , well-known Chinese human rights activist, was stopped at the Shanghai Pudong Airport on January 28 while en route to the United States to care for his ailing wife. The authorities reportedly cited “ suspicion of endangering national security " as the reason. Guo has begun a...
Sharon Hom: “Human rights defenders, as well as all users of social media or technology tools, are trapped between a rock and a hard place—between the manipulation for profit of “surveillance capitalism” and the economic and political constraints of party-state authoritarianism.”
On January 10, well-known Chinese rights activist Guo Feixiong issued an urgent open letter (see below) to Premier Li Keqiang and Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi, urging them to order Guangzhou authorities to return his passport so that he may come to the United States to take care of his...
  • A scene from the unofficial primaries held in July 2020, which the authorities characterize as “subversion of state power” under the National Security Law. (Photo: Studio Incendo)
Sharon Hom: “This is the moment to hold the authorities’ feet to the fire, a test, and an opportunity to give Article 4 real teeth to provide rights protections guaranteed in the international obligations of the mainland Chinese and Hong Kong SAR governments.”
HRIC’s submission describes overarching challenges to the right to education and academic freedom in Hong Kong and highlights specific concerns regarding the effective implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, art. 13).
On the December 9, at her year-end press conference at the Human Rights Council, UN High Commission for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet spoke out on the serious human rights violations in Xinjiang and expressed concerns regarding what she called the “rapidly shrinking civic and democratic space in...
  • Chang Weiping
Just six days after making this statement, Chang was taken away by police on October 22, 2020. Chang’s disappearance followed 10 months of “residential surveillance in a designated location” (RSDL)—presented by the authorities as “bail” condition of his previous detention that occurred in mid-...
  • Credit: Studio Incendo
Against the troubling rights erosion made possible by the NSL and the political abandonment by the Hong Kong SAR government of its people are: the institutional and normative safeguards inherent in Hong Kong’s judicial and legal system, and the safeguards provided by international human rights...
  • UN Human Rights Council
During the UN Human Rights Council’s 45th session that concluded yesterday in Geneva, Council member states and civil society organizations voiced urgent concerns about China’s serious and ongoing human rights abuses, centering on two sets of actions that have prompted international outcry:...
  • Wang Zang (left) and Wang Li (right)
Human Rights in China has learned that poet Wang Zang ( 王藏) and his wife Wang Li ( 王丽), of Chuxiong City, Yunnan Province, have been arrested for "inciting subversion of state power." Police authorities have referred their cases in mid-September to the procuratorate to seek indictments. According...
An open letter to: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, UN Member States. We, the undersigned organizations, join together to call for an international mechanism to address the Chinese government’s human rights violations, and urge you to...
In a joint communication to the Chinese government, seven United Nations independent human rights experts presented a legal assessment of the National Security Law for Hong Kong (NSL). They also detailed their numerous concerns that the law does not comply with the government’s international legal...
In this update, Xu Yan, wife of detained human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng, provides the latest developments in her husband’s case. On the morning of September 3, Yu’s two defense lawyers plan to meet with Yu at the Xuzhou Municipal Detention Center to discuss his upcoming trial of second instance...
Sharon Hom: “While the use of online platforms enables broader participation, greater transparency, and easier access, we also urge greater attention to potential measures for protecting civil society groups and human rights defenders against retaliation, particularly for those operating in...
On August 20, 2020, Peking University issued a “Notice on Regulating the Declaration and Approval of Participation in Online International Conferences Organized by Foreign Parties.” The Notice requires all teachers and students planning to participate in online conferences (webinars) to declare...
Sharon Hom, HRIC Executive Director: “Hong Kongers continue to exercise their rights in the closing civil society space and express resistance in creative, diverse ways. The international community must stand in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong.”
“Dear Foreign Ministers, We, a coalition of 17 organizations and independent scholars, write to express our grave concerns about Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Governments need to stand by the people of Hong Kong and respond with urgent and meaningful actions. We urge all governments….”
Many were charged with and convicted of “subversion of state power” and “inciting subversion of state power.” HRIC’s updated 709 case chart highlights the ongoing impunity of the Chinese authorities in violating the rights of rights defense professionals and activists, the right of an individual to...
In this timely essay, Chen Jiangang, one of China’s well-known rights defense lawyers, tells the story of the campaign waged by the Chinese authorities over the past decade intended to crush the rights defense legal profession.
HRIC has prepared an annotated bilingual chart of the NSL-HK to facilitate reading of the law and highlight the troubling, problematic aspects of the law, including…
“The new law is Beijing’s ultimate tool to crush dissent, shut down civic space, and erase the rule of law in the Special Administrative Region (SAR).”
Under siege at home and abroad, Xi Jinping, the helmsman of the Communist Party of China, decided he may as well go all out, wage a war against whatever may come while other countries are preoccupied, and settle the Hong Kong question once and for all…
“We urge the NPCSC to abandon plans to introduce national security legislation for Hong Kong, as what is known about the draft law so far and the experiences with respective national security laws in mainland China strongly indicate that neither the law nor its application would conform to...

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Updated on April 8, 2021
Photo credit: Studio Incendo
HKDC panel on Hong Kong’s latest developments—implications of the subversion charges against 47 democracy figures
March 5, 2021
Unofficial English translation by a group of human rights advocates and Chinese feminists, edited by HRIC.
Photo credit: Maina Kiai
October 30, 2020

Topic: Hong Kong 12 (facing prosecution in mainland China)

Hom (33:41-40:19) stresses that China’s prosecution of the HK 12 must comply with national laws and international standards and obligations—on the books and in practice.

Featuring: Michael C. Davis | Moderated by: Andrew J. Nathan | October 26, 2020 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET

General comment No. 37
Article 21: right of peaceful assembly
July 27, 2020

“The fundamental human right of peaceful assembly enables individuals to express themselves collectively and to participate in shaping their societies. . . . Together with other related rights, it also constitutes the very foundation of a system of participatory governance based on democracy, human rights, the rule of law and pluralism.”

Also see press release.

June 26, 2020

“[The draft] national security law for the Hong Kong SAR would, if adopted, violate China’s international legal obligations and impose severe restrictions on civil and political rights in the autonomous region. . . . [It] would deprive the people of Hong Kong . . . the autonomy and fundamental rights guaranteed them under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ governance framework.”

Tuesday, June 9, 5pm Eastern time (US and Canada)

Speakers on this panel organized by the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, U. of Michigan, discuss the legal and political crises in Hong Kong stemming from the recent Decision by China's Central People's Government to draft and impose a national security law on Hong Kong.

Panel discussion: 1st Anniv. of Anti-Extradition Movement

Jun 8 (Mon) 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT / Jun 9 (Tues) 9 am HKT

Prominent rights advocate Xu Zhiyong was taken away by the police in Guangzhou on Saturday, February 15, 2020. He was a founder of Gongmeng, Open Constitution Initiative, a legal research and aid organization that was shut down by the authorities in 2009, and a leading advocate of the New Citizens’ Movement, which advocated for the protection of rights of citizens through nonviolent means..

at UN Security Council AOB on Hong Kong (via VTC) May 29, 2020

“[A]re we going to take the honorable stand to defend the human rights and dignified way of life that millions of Hong Kong citizens have enjoyed and deserved . . . or are we going to allow the government in Beijing to undermine their international legal commitments . . . ?”Statement; Remarks as delivered

Thurs, May 28 1PM ET | on HKDC Facebook page
“To remember is to resist”
Sharon Hom remarks at 61st anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day, March 10, 2020
Presented by Bernstein Institute for Human Rights (NYU Law)