Taipei/London: The topic of China’s ongoing oppression and atrocities in Kong has come under a spotlight once again. International campaigns were initiated for demanding the release of 12 pro-democracy activists, who were forcefully detained in August, from China. As part of the campaign, protests were held in a staggering 35 cities across the US, Europe and Asia on Sunday. Simultaneously, the UK has announced starting the process for granting British citizenship to Hong Kongers, which has drawn a severe reaction from China.
The National Security Law for Hong Kong came into force in July. According to the law, any act against China will be termed unlawful and anti-national. Also, any person found guilty of committing such crimes may be sentenced for life imprisonment. The Hong Kong citizens arrested under the law, will not be subject to any local laws. Associated agencies have been granted permission to run secret trials for cases registered under this law. Also, China’s law had attracted severe criticism from Hong Kong as well as the international community. The US and EU have targeted China over Hong Kong law economically and politically, and the subject was raised at the UN as well.
Amid that, the incident of 12 pro-democratic activists being arrested under the law has surfaced. After aggressive enforcement of the law, China is trying to remove hundreds of citizens from Hong Kong permanently. In one such attempt, Chinese agencies forcefully arrested 12 people, who were trying to seek asylum in Taiwan. They have been locked in jail, accused of perpetrating violence and declared as separatists. The 12 detainees have not been given any legal facilities neither have they been permitted to meet their families. International groups and those from Hong Kong, have protested China’s unilateral action in the matter and asked for the acquittal of the 12 people.
On Sunday, 35 cities carried out protests across the globe for making the demand. These include leading cities from the US, Canada, the UK, Holland, Sweden, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The protesters held placards bearing statements such as ‘Save 12’ and ‘Hong Kong Independence’ while chanting slogans against China. Sources revealed protests received a maximum response in Taiwan in which approximately 3,000 people had participated. Various international groups and activists are also bringing the matter under focus. An online campaign was started in its support as well.
In the meanwhile, European nations have intensified their stand over the Hong Kong law. In the last week, a young woman participating in the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong had been granted political asylum from Germany. Despite China lambasting the country over the matter, Germany has not withdrawn its stand but firmly justified it. At the same time, Finland has announced suspending its agreement with China over the surrender of fugitive offenders.
The UK, which has taken the boldest stance yet against China’s Hong Kong law, has initiated the process for granting citizenship to Hong Kongers. An official statement has been released in this regard where the number of people that can apply for UK citizenship was said not to have been restricted. The move has drawn China’s ire, and its Foreign Ministry warned the UK it would have to pay the price for it.