The world is concerned that a second Tiananmen tragedy could reappear as the possibility of the Chinese Government’s involvement of armed intervention against the three-million protestors announced for the 18th of August. We support the Hong Kong citizens’ struggle for freedom and human rights and urge the Chinese Government to accept their demands.
Hong Kong citizens began protesting for the withdrawal of the ‘Criminal Extradition Act’ on March 31st, and since the 12th of August, they have been at the airport, directly addressing their suffering in various languages and appealing for support through various social media platforms. We fully share the desperation of the Hong Kong citizens as we still remember the pain of human rights abuses experienced under past authoritarian regimes in South Korea. Also, as we now ask for help from the international community for the atrocious human rights abuses committed in the DPRK, we are fully sympathetic to the Hong Kong citizens’ urgency.
The Chinese Government has been criticized by the international community for maintaining its policy of repatriating North Korean defectors caught in China. And now, the North Korean regime has announced its support for the Chinese Government’s crackdown on Hong Kong citizens through the Nodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the regime. This is an act that should be condemned as they prove themselves that they are affirming human rights violations.
The Chinese Government is responsible for driving Hong Kong’s nonviolent protest movement into a dangerous situation. Pro-Chinese gangs wearing white shirts appeared out of nowhere on the night of July 21st after the growing number of protesters slowed down (slowed down to 2 million among the 7.4 million Hong Kong population.) They caused bloodshed, and even put a woman on the verge of losing her eyesight by being shot with rubber bullets on July 11th. In addition, 10 minutes outside of Hong Kong, the People’s Liberation Army has unveiled a drill to suppress protesters, creating a period of panic reminiscent of the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident.
The Chinese Government, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, should not seek hegemony in the international community. The Chinese Government is responsible for protecting protestors’ human rights in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 19 (Freedom of Expression) and Article 20 (Freedom of peaceful assembly and association), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 19 (Freedom of Expression) and Article 21 (Right of peaceful assembly), and the Basic Principles on the Use of Armed Forces and Firearms. The Chinese Government should not take the international community’s support for Hong Kong citizens lightly, and let Hong Kong be free and democratic as their citizens wish.
We will continue to support the Hong Kong citizens’ aspirations for freedom and human rights as fellow citizens in the global community.