Joint Statement on Siege of Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Monday, November 18, 2019 2:39 PM
As students, alumni, academics at universities all across the world, and members of the international community, we condemn in the strongest possible terms the abhorrent actions of the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) and Hong Kong Government in besieging the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and other locations across Hong Kong in November 2019. The siege on PolyU, in particular, has been ongoing for multiple days; it marks a vicious attack on the right to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and academic freedom.
As of the writing of this statement, the HKPF has reportedly threatened to use lethal force against students if they do not leave the University. In an official press release, they warned “Anyone who enters or stays on the campus and assists rioters in any way will risk committing the offense of “Taking Part in a Riot”.
Hundreds of rounds of tear gas have been deployed last night, while live rounds and a stun grenade were reportedly fired. Riot police and members of the Special Tactical Squad were seen carrying AR-15 assault rifles, MP5 submachine guns and deployed sniper teams on standby in order to face PolyU students.
Reporters were warned if they do not depart, they will be arrested for ‘assisting with rioting’. Volunteer first-aiders, doctors and paramedics have been prevented from entering the campus grounds to provide relief, in spite of numerous injuries. Denial of humanitarian aid is a war crime. According to the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Member States are responsible for ensuring the protection of the medical and health personnel from attack, threatening or that which otherwise prevents them from fulfilling their medical duties.
The detention of medics and first-aiders outside the protesting area by Hong Kong Police has clearly violated the above-mentioned United Nations Resolution and international convention. Here we strongly urge the Hong Kong and international society for the severest condemnation to Hong Kong Police for their crime against humanity and demand the immediate release of the detained medical and health personnel.
In addition, there are reports circulating that several reporters without “official press IDs” (of which there is no legal definition in Hong Kong), first-aiders and social workers have been arrested while exiting as per police instructions, through Core Y exit on PolyU campus. There are reports of police chanting, "We want a replay of Tiananmen Square Massacre!".
The future of Hong Kong lies within our universities and its students, the HKPF’s assault on PolyU and other universities is destroying any left in our future generations. Even during the Second World War, the German Air Force spared British universities as they were considered to be the future of humanity.
Peaceful resolution of this crisis will only come about if the HKPF stops trying to force its way into the campus grounds in order to conduct arbitrary arrests. We call on the HKPF to cease its operations immediately on campus grounds and to stop using tactics of intimidation to threaten Polytechnic University students. It must stop trespassing onto university campuses, which endangers the health and safety of students. It must stop engaging in relentless brutality against citizens, including using tear gas and other bullets indiscriminately, which endangers their health and safety.
The root of the crisis of authority lies squarely with the government. We continue to call on the five core demands, including an independent inquiry into police brutality, immediate implementation of universal suffrage, and the immediate dissolution of the Hong Kong Police Force.
In particular, we urge:
- for the passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act into law and enforce it as soon as possible.
- the US administration to issue a statement of potential revocation of Hong Kong’s special trade status guaranteed under the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act in the event of a large-scale violent crackdown in Hong Kong.
- for a moratorium on visas issued to all employees of the Hong Kong Police Force and their immediate family members.
- the international government bodies to impose Magnitsky-style sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese policymakers and senior police officials responsible for the escalation of violence in Hong Kong.
- international NGOs and humanitarian organizations to observe and provide aid when necessary to Hong Kong.
Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong.
- Adelaide - Stand with Hong Kong [Adelaide, Australia]
- Australia Hong Kong Link [Australia]
- Australia Hong Kong Link Victoria Hongkongers [Victoria, Australia]
- Bath Stands With Hong Kong [Bath, United Kingdom]
- BN6100HK [Brighton, United Kingdom]
- Brisbane International Student Solidarity with Hong Kong [Brisbane, Australia]
- Canberra Hong Kong concern [Canberra, Australia]
- Cambridge Stands With Hong Kong [Cambridge, United Kingdom]
- Canada-Hong Kong Link [Canada]
- Canada Hongkonger [Canada]
- DC4HK [Washington DC, United States]
- Democracy for Hong Kong [London, United Kingdom]
- Democracy for Hong Kong in Ireland [Ireland]
- Democracy for Hong Kong in Scotland [Scotland, United Kingdom]
- Durham Stands with Hong Kong [Durham, United Kingdom]
- Edmonton Hong Kong Civil Rights United [Edmonton, Canada]
- Florida Atlantic University Antielab Awareness Group [Florida, United States]
- Freedom Hong Kong [International]
- Geneva stands with hong kong [Geneva, Switzerland]
- 芝援香港 Global Solidarity with Hong Kong - Chicago [Chicago, United States]
- HongKongers in Germany Concern Group [Deutschland]
- Hong Kong Polytechnic University Taiwanese Student Association 6th committee [Hong Kong]
- Hong Kong Committee in Norway [Norway]
- Hong Kong Forum, Los Angeles [Los Angeles, United States]
- 香港邊城青年 Hong Kong Outlanders [Taipei, Taiwan]
- Hong Kong Count Me In [London, United Kingdom]
- International Tibet Network [International]
- Le Comité pour la Liberté Hong-Kong [Paris, France]
- Liberty for Hong Kong - MN [Minnesota, United States]
- Macanese with Conscience [Macau, SAR]
- Manchester supports Hong Kong [Manchester, United Kingdom]
- Netherlands for Hong Kong [Netherlands]
- Newcastle University Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Service Society [Newcastle, United Kingdom]
- New Zealand Hong Konger [New Zealand]
- Northern California Hong Kong Club [San Francisco, United States]
- NY4HK [New York, United States]
- NSW Hongkongers [New South Wales, Australia]
- Ontario Universities Hong Kong Awareness Group [Ontario, Canada]
- Ottawans Stand with HK [Ottawa, Canada]
- Oxford Stands with Hong Kong [Oxford, United Kingdom]
- Perth - Hong Kong Students’ AntiELAB Concern Group [Perth, Australia]
- Ryerson University Stand with Hong Kong [Toronto, Canada]
- St Andrews Stands with Hong Kong [St. Andrews, Scotland]
- StandwithHK.org [International]
- Stand with Hong Kong - Belgium [Belgium]
- Stand with HK at JPN [Japan]
- Sweden for Hong Kong / Sverige för Hongkong [Stockholm / Göteborg, Sweden]
- Hongkongs demokrati - en svensk stödgrupp [Stockholm, Sweden]
- Swansea Stands With Hong Kong [United Kingdom]
- Tainan with Hong Kong [Tainan, Taiwan]
- The University of New South Wales AEL Team [Sydney, Australia]
- Tibetan Community Japan [Japan]
- Torontonian HongKongers Action Group
- TX4HK [Texas, United States]
- U of Manitoba Hong Kong Concern [Winnipeg, Canada]
- UBC the Enlightenment of Hong Kong [Vancouver, Canada]
- UCLA Stands with Hong Kong [Los Angeles, United States]
- UCSDHKCS [University of California, San Diego, San Diego, United States]
- University of Exeter Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Service Society [Exeter, United Kingdom]
- University of St Andrews Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Services Society [St. Andrews, Scotland]
- UofT HK Anti Extradition Law Awareness Group [University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada]
- Vancouver Hong Kong Political Activists [Vancouver, Canada]
- Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement [Vancouver, Canada]
- Vancouverites Concerned About Hong Kong [Vancouver, Canada]
- Victoria Hong Kongers [Victoria, Canada]
- Victoria Hong Kong Tertiary Student Association [Victoria, Australia]
- Winnipeg Hong Kong Concern [Winnipeg, Canada]
- We Are Kiwi Hong Kongers [Auckland, New Zealand]
- Yellow Power New Zealand [Christchurch, New Zealand]