The Executive Yuan yesterday condemned Hong Kong for arresting five democracy advocates, including singer-actress Denise Ho (何韻詩), cardinal Joseph Zen (陳日君) and former opposition lawmaker Mageret Ng (吳靄儀).
Officers of the Hong Kong Police Forces’ National Security Department the previous day had arrested the group — who were all trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund — on charges of seditious conspiracy under the territory’s National Security Law.
The arrests came three days after Beijing-backed veteran law-enforcement official John Lee (李家超) became the Hong Kong chief executive following an election in which he ran as the sole candidate.
Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP
The five were released on bail early yesterday morning.
“Taiwan joins the international community in condemning the violation of human rights and regression of the Hong Kong Government,” Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said.
“This government condemns the violation of human rights committed by Hong Kong under the pretext of national security,” Lo said. “Hong Kong is called upon to represent the people, and to stop its contravention of rights and freedoms.”
Photo: Lee Hsin-fang, Taipei Times
Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) also condemned the actions of the Hong Kong government and called for an end to the persecution of dissidents.
Hong Kong authorities are to blame for “implementing the regressive Hong Kong National Security Law, causing declines in the human rights, freedom, democracy and rule of law there,” Chiu said.
“We call on the parties responsible for the situation to recognize that they have gone down the wrong road and must return to the right one,” he said. “If they compound their errors, they will become coconspirators and accessories to this crime.”
Despite promises that freedom of speech would be protected, the passage of the Hong Kong National Security Law has led to the jailing of critics including Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai (黎智英) and closures of independent media firms, Chiu said.
“The world can clearly see in these cases that the authorities are conducting a new literary inquisition in Hong Kong, which is cut from the same cloth as the oppressive regime of the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.
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