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World Uyghur Congress condemns Hong Kong Court's pro-democracy activist sentencing

International desk

  01 Jun 2024, 14:05
photo: Collected

The World Uyghur Congress has strongly condemned the sentencing of 14 pro-democracy activists by a Hong Kong high court in the largest case under the National Security Law (NSL) imposed by China in 2020.

The 14 Hong Kong pro-democracy figures, including opposition lawmakers, are among 47 individuals convicted of the crime of 'subversion of state power' in 2021 and found guilty of participating in the primary elections. They could face life imprisonment.

'It is no surprise that China uses the NSL to silence dissidents,' remarked WUC President Dolkun Isa in a statement. "But the sentencing is furthermore evident of the systematic erosion of democracy, fundamental freedoms, and the shrinking space of civil society under the CCP," a press statement issued by the World Uyghur Congress stated.

The NSL, enacted in response to the pro-democracy protests that rocked Hong Kong in 2019, criminalizes acts of 'collusion, terrorism, secession, and subversion,' punishable by life imprisonment.

Critics argue it serves as a tool for Beijing to quell dissent and tighten its grip on the semi-autonomous region.

Standing in solidarity with the pro-democracy figures, the WUC demands their immediate release and urges the international community, including the European Commission, to take decisive action.

Calling for sanctions on those responsible, the WUC stresses the urgent need to address the erosion of democracy and fundamental freedoms.
'With the upcoming global elections, including EU elections,' emphasized Isa, 'democratic governments need to hold China accountable for its continuous attack on democracy and disregard for human rights.'

As the world grapples with these challenges, the call for justice reverberates louder, signalling a pivotal moment in the fight to safeguard democratic principles against authoritarian overreach.

Source: ANI

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