Viernes, 31 de mayo, 2024

Responding to today’s conviction of 14 Hong Kong opposition figures accused of “conspiring to subvert state power”, Amnesty International’s China Director Sarah Brooks said: 

“This unprecedented mass conviction is the most ruthless illustration yet of how Hong Kong’s National Security Law is weaponized to silence dissent. It represents a near-total purge of the political opposition and highlights the rapid disintegration of human rights in Hong Kong.

“To imprison these men and women, having already kept most of the 47 in pre-trial detention for more than three years, is a brazen injustice. None of those convicted have committed an internationally recognized crime; they have been targeted simply for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and participation in public affairs.

“These convictions also send a chilling message to anyone else in Hong Kong who opposes the actions of the government, namely: stay quiet, or face jail.

“Throughout this sham trial, the Hong Kong authorities have ignored all calls from Amnesty International and other human rights groups to drop these unjust charges.

“The onus is now on the international community to join us in demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the 47. It is not a crime to peacefully oppose the government.”


In Hong Kong’s largest prosecution under the National Security Law, which was enacted in June 2020, all 47 defendants were jointly charged with “conspiracy to commit subversion”.

31 of the 47 have already pleaded guilty to the charge before today’s hearing. Among the remaining 16 individuals who pleaded not guilty, 14 were convicted and 2 were acquitted by the court today.

The charges relate to their organization and participation in self-organized “primaries” for the 2020 Legislative Council elections that were ultimately postponed by authorities on Covid grounds before the Chinese government brought in a new electoral system that strictly vetted who could stand for office.

The city’s former chief executive Carrie Lam said the “primaries” were illegal and warned that they could be in breach of the National Security Law that had been enacted only weeks earlier.

To treat self-organized “primaries” conducted by political parties to select candidates to put forward for elections as a genuine threat to Hong Kong’s existence, territorial integrity or political independence does not meet the high threshold of application for “national security” that international human rights standards require. 

Hong Kong’s human rights situation has deteriorated dramatically since 2020, with nearly 300 people arrested for violating the National Security Law or a colonial-era “sedition” law. Recently introduced Article 23 legislation is set to further deepen repression in the city.