Hong Kong: Statement by the Spokesperson on civil and political rights
The EU welcomes the release of the Committee’s concluding remarks on the fourth periodic review of Hong Kong under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on 27 July 2022. The provisions of the ICCPR are enshrined in the laws of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Hong Kong, including Hong Kong’s Basic Law and Bill of Rights Ordinance and reflected in the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Therefore, Hong Kong’s domestic laws must be compatible with international standards.
The EU supports the Human Rights Committee’s recommendations, in particular to repeal both the National Security Law (NSL) and the sedition law, and to refrain, immediately, from applying them. The EU expresses once again its grave concerns regarding the increasing infringement on civil and political rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of the press, political pluralism, and freedom of association in Hong Kong. The EU recalls the importance of safeguarding fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, judicial independence, as well as the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ as enshrined in Hong Kong’s Basic Law, and Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, as guaranteed by the Sino-British Joint Declaration, at least until 2047.
In line with the Human Rights Committee’s report, the EU calls on the Hong Kong authorities to ensure that representatives of civil society organizations will not be charged or intimidated because of their engagement with international organisations. The EU strongly condemns any act of intimidation and reprisal.
The EU will continue monitoring the situation in Hong Kong, as reflected in the Annual Report to the European Parliament and Council and calls on China to ratify the ICCPR without any further delay.