Hong Kong Watch

Summary

Hong Kong Watch is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in the United Kingdom that was established to monitor the conditions of human rights, freedoms and rule of law in Hong Kong. It was founded by British human rights activist Benedict Rogers on 11 December 2017, two months after he was barred from entering Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Watch
Hong Kong Watch logo.svg
FormationDecember 11, 2017; 4 years ago (2017-12-11)
Founded atUnited Kingdom
PurposeMonitor and report developments in Hong Kong
Official language
English
Co-founders
Benedict Rogers
Johnny Patterson
Aileen Calverley
Gray Sergeant
Patrons
Sir Malcolm Rifkind
Catherine West
Lord Paddy Ashdown
Lord David Alton
Sir Geoffrey Nice
Lord Chris Patten
Websitewww.hongkongwatch.org

HistoryEdit

In Hong Kong, the aftermath of the 2014 Hong Kong protests and Legislative Council oath-taking controversy saw the imprisonment of Hong Kong democracy activists and Benedict Rogers, a British human rights activist, intended to visit them privately. On 11 October 2017, Rogers was barred entry to Hong Kong.[1][2] He arrived at Hong Kong International Airport on a flight from Bangkok but was escorted away by immigration officials and placed on a flight back to Thailand. He had previously been warned by a contact in the Chinese embassy in London that he might be refused entry to Hong Kong.[3][4] Rogers, who lived in Hong Kong between 1997 and 2002, has criticised what Rogers says is Mainland China's increasing threat to democracy in Hong Kong and has campaigned against the imprisonment of pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson demanded an explanation from the Hong Kong authorities and the Central Chinese government.[5] Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, later responded that the move was within China's sovereignty and said: "Whether this person's trip to Hong Kong involved an intention to intervene in Hong Kong's internal affairs and judicial independence – he knows very well himself."[6]

The following day, Rogers announced he would form a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to monitor the rule of law and human rights in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Watch was launched at a reception hosted in Speaker's House, House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 11 December 2017. The organisation appointed Johnny Patterson as its founding Director, with Rogers acting as Chair of Trustees[7] It was established on grounds of the belief of the fact that under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the United Kingdom has a moral and legal obligation to speak out.[8]

IPACEdit

In the summer of 2020, the leadership of Hong Kong Watch worked with human rights leaders such as Luke de Pulford to create the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, a global pressure group, advocating for human rights in China, particularly with regards the Uyghur genocide and Democracy in Hong Kong.[9]

New appointments in 2020Edit

Benedict Rogers joined the staff team of the organisation in September 2020 as Chief Executive Officer, with Patterson moving to Policy Director. The organisation also brought in veteran Labour party staffer Sam Goodman as senior policy advisor and Hong Kong activist in exile, Joey Siu, as an Associate based in Washington DC.[10]

Blockage in Hong KongEdit

On 14 February 2022, it was reported that the site had been blocked by Internet service providers in Hong Kong, including PCCW, CMHK, HKBN, Netvigator, etc. Hong Kong Watch posted on Twitter that they believed the action was enforced upon order from the police.[11][12]

MissionEdit

Hong Kong Watch was set up to provide independent, comprehensive analysis and thought leadership on freedom and human rights in Hong Kong.[8]

Protest action at Acropolis of AthensEdit

Three activists, including Hong Kong Watch Associate Joey Siu and Tibetan student Tsela Zoksang, were arrested at the Acropolis of Athens on 17 October 2021, the day before the lighting of the Olympic Torch. Siu and Tsela Zoksang first attempted to unfurl a banner to protest the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing; after the banner was taken away, they draped the Tibetan flag and the Hong Kong Revolution flag over scaffolding at the site and chanted slogans before they were arrested and charged for violating laws on protection of archeological sites.[13][14][15] Siu and Tsela Zoksang were released the following day and allowed to leave Greece, but ordered to return in January 2022 to appear in court.[16]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "UK 'concerned' as Hong Kong denies Benedict Rogers entry". BBC News. London. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  2. ^ Phillips, Tom; Haas, Benjamin (11 October 2017). "British Conservative party activist barred from entering Hong Kong". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  3. ^ "A British Conservative Party human rights activist was turned away from Hong Kong after threats from China". Business Insider. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  4. ^ Rogers, Benedict (12 October 2017). "Why the world must wake up to China's threat to freedom in Hong Kong | Benedict Rogers". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  5. ^ Connor, Neil (11 October 2017). "Boris Johnson demands 'urgent explanation' from China after activist barred from entering Hong Kong". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  6. ^ Farley, Harry (12 October 2017). "Christian human rights activist barred from Hong Kong". Christian Today. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Our People". Hong Kong Watch. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  8. ^ a b "About Us". Hong Kong Watch. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Parliamentarians From Around the World Unite to Discuss the China Challenge". thediplomat.com. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Our People". Hong Kong Watch. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  11. ^ "Hong Kong Watch網頁港無法入 稱料警要求". Ming Pao (in Chinese (Hong Kong)). 15 February 2022. Archived from the original on 15 February 2022.
  12. ^ "Hong Kong tech giants 'censor' UK rights website amid firewall fears". RFA. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  13. ^ Nellas, Demetris (17 October 2021). "2 arrested in Athens for protesting Beijing Olympics". Associated Press. AP News. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  14. ^ "Activists arrested in Greece over Beijing Olympic boycott demo, including Hongkonger Joey Siu". Hong Kong Free Press. 17 October 2021. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Ελεύθεροι οι Θιβετιανοί φοιτητές που κρέμασαν πανό κατά της Κίνας". Dikastiko.gr (in Greek). 18 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ Lew, Linda (18 October 2021). "Beijing Olympics: two arrested in Greece for protest on eve of torch lighting". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 18 October 2021.

External linksEdit

  • Official website