Violent arrest in Hong Kong a reminder to defend young people's rights


Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael has joined a cross-party letter condemning the violent arrest of a 12 year old girl by Hong Kong police during a mass crackdown on pro-democracy protest on Sunday. Hong Kong police arrested almost 300 people in the biggest single-day sweep since early July. The incident comes after months of allegations against Hong Kong's police force of heavy-handed tactics in dealing with protesters, who have continued taking to the streets in spite of a new "national security" law imposed on the region by China's central government.

 

Commenting, Mr Carmichael said:

“The violent arrest of a 12-year-old girl is the latest escalation of police violence against young people in Hong Kong.  In defending this action, the Hong Kong Police Force only legitimises further violence against young people.  The international community must act urgently to protect the freedom of the next generation of Hongkongers.”

 

He continued:

“We cannot be timid in defending international human rights, nor can we stand idly by and watch the increasing brutality against young people in Hong Kong when we would not tolerate it here.

 

“In the United Kingdom we uphold a high standard for the rights and engagement of young people in our political process, whether giving votes to 16 and 17 year olds in Scotland and Wales or the work of our Youth Parliaments and vibrant third sector. While we should be proud of this, we cannot forget to raise the voices of young people elsewhere in the world who are leading the charge on the climate emergency, democracy and human rights.”

 

Full text of letter below:

 

SIR – The violent arrest of a 12-year-old girl by Hong Kong police (report, September 7) epitomises an escalation of violence against children there. The international community must act urgently to protect the freedom of the next generation of Hongkongers.

The brutal attack on this young girl is as deeply unsettling as the police force’s reaction is disturbing. In a statement, police said she was running in a “suspicious manner” and that “force” was required to subdue her. By defending these unacceptable actions, the police legitimise violence against children and pave the way for ever more ferocious incidents in the future.

The British Government must take action to ensure that the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong’s citizens are respected and preserved. As a minimum, senior police officers and security ministers in Hong Kong’s administration should be held to account through personal sanctions for their gross abuses through personal sanctions, and officers involved in such heinous crimes should be barred from the new immigration scheme for British National Overseas passport holders.

 

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (Green)

Alistair Carmichael MP (Lib Dem)

Lord Alton of Liverpool (Crossbench)

Sarah Champion MP (Lab)

Stewart McDonald MP (SNP)

 

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong


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