We strongly denounce the arbitrary, unlawful and unconstitutional decision of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government to bar Agnes Chow Ting from running as a candidate in the Hong Kong Legislative Council by-election on the basis of her political opinion and political affiliation. This decision has violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Hong Kong is a signatory. To comply with Article 26 of the Basic Law and Article 21 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights, the HKSAR Government should immediately restore Agnes Chow Ting’s right and opportunity as a permanent resident to stand for election without unreasonable restrictions.
The HKSAR Government repeatedly refers to the Basic Law as the constitutional basis for “One Country Two Systems” in Hong Kong, but in this decision it ignores the fact that the right of Hong Kong permanent residents to run for election is safeguarded by the Basic Law. It undermines the Hong Kong people’s trust in the rule of law and the HKSAR Government itself. The Chief Executive Carrie Lam has expressed her determination to diminish social division. However the disqualification of Chow’s right to stand for election which denies the free choice of Hong Kong voters will only aggravate division in society. How can Hong Kong people trust the Chief Executive’s sincerity and accountability to Hong Kong people?
As global citizens who cherish human rights, democracy, rule of law and freedoms, we consider the protection of civil and political rights, and open and fair election to be vital to any open and free society. It is also a vital component of the “One Country Two Systems” principle based upon which international community endorsed the Sino-British Joint Declaration. We firmly stand by the Hong Kong people and demand the HKSAR Government restore Agnes Chow Ting’s right to stand for election!
Signatories of Joint Statement 聯署團體:
Australia-Hong Kong Link 澳港聯 (Australia
Canada-Hong Kong Link 港加聯 (Canada)
Federation of Overseas Hong Kong Chinese, Washington DC
Friends of Hong Kong and Macau of Boston 波士頓港澳之友社 (USA)
Hong Kong Forum Los Angeles 洛杉磯香港論壇 (USA)
Movement for Democracy in China (Calgary) 卡城中國民主促進會 (Canada)
Northern California Hong Kong Club 北加州香港會 (USA)
Toronto Association for Democracy in China 多倫多支持中國民運會 (Canada)
Vancouver Hong Kong Forum Society 溫哥華香港協進會 (Canada)
Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement 溫哥華支援民主運動聯合會 (Canada)