A new alliance of pro-democracy groups supporting human rights in Hong Kong is calling on the Canadian government to take legal action and other measures against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), reported the Vancouver Sun.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 21, the Alliance Canada Hong Kong (ACHK) shared a list of five demands for politicians and officials in Canada, which the organization said will help fight Beijing’s excesses in Hong Kong and in the Canada itself.
“We condemn the Canadian government’s inactions on Beijing’s human rights atrocities,” said Executive Director Cherie Wong after a dramatic introduction in which she removed her helmet, goggles, and mask as she explained how protesters in Hong Kong use such equipment to protect themselves from police brutality.
The ACHK is made up of 14 groups from different regions in Canada and seeks to promote legislation that supports democracy and human rights in Hong Kong.
Some 300,000 Canadians live in Hong Kong.
The region has been mired in a series of protests since last year when the local legislative body, with strong ties to Beijing, tried to implement a law that would allow China to quickly extradite people from Hong Kong to mainland China.
Since then, citizens have been mobilizing to denounce the communist regime’s interference in Hong Kong‘s civil and political liberties.
Action against human rights abusers
Among the demands of the alliance is a call to the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to use the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act in the case of CCP authorities and the Hong Kong government and police.
The law, also known as the Sergei Magnitsky Law, allows a government to take action against foreign nationals who commit or allow serious human rights violations, as well as against public officials and their associates involved in significant corruption.
Early last year, the U.S. State Department announced that it would tighten visa verification and restrict the entry of human rights violators.
In July 2019, practitioners of the Falun Dafa spiritual discipline in the United States, which is heavily persecuted by the Chinese regime, submitted a list of names of human rights violators to the State Department, urging the agency to deny visas or entry of these individuals.
The interference of the CCP
In its list of demands, the ACHK also calls on Ottawa to provide support for people seeking asylum from CCP persecution.
It also stresses that the Canadian government must combat CCP interference in Canadian media and domestic policy.
It also urges the authorities to stop the export of military and police technology and equipment to China, which is then used by the Chinese regime to violate human rights.
“It is no secret that the Chinese Communist Party is actively, violently suppressing human rights in China from Hong Kong to occupied Tibet, and occupied East Turkistan,” Wong said in his presentation, according to the Vancouver Sun.
The executive director also denounced how the controversial Confucius Institutes “buy” academics by offering them paid vacation trips.
In an interview with local media, The Star, Wong said that for fear of economic retaliation by Beijing, many politicians are afraid to speak out against the human rights abuses committed by the communist regime.
“I think they are afraid, or they want to continue to play this economic and trade game with China,” Wong said.
“But ultimately we’re sacrificing Canadian values and we’re sacrificing Canadians’ safety and freedom and liberty for these so-called economic gains,” she said.
The ACHK’s announcement came as part of extradition hearings in Vancouver for Huawei’s executive, Meng Wanzhou, who faces charges in the United States after being accused of conspiring to violate Washington’s sanctions against Iran.
Call to Action
On Jan. 8, the U.S. Congressional Executive Committee on China issued its annual report for 2019 in which it highlighted the worsening human rights conditions in China and called for tougher action against the regime.
It detailed the Chinese regime’s repression of religious groups, including Christians, Falun Dafa practitioners, minorities and labor activists, the expansion of digital surveillance and censorship, and its politically influential activities around the world.
Sharon Hom, executive director of Human Rights in China, quoted by the Vancouver Sun, stressed that the “strategic patience” applied by the Canadian government with the Chinese regime led to the deterioration, not progress, of the rule of law and protections for oppressed groups under the communist regime.
“It is now a moment for governments and for private business—and even for us, human-rights NGOs—we have to re-strategize how we’re going to address these challenges that China now poses for 1.4 billion people, for the region and for the world,” Hom said.