Senior Parliamentarians relaunch All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong

Thursday, January 9, 2020 2:00 PM

A packed meeting of parliamentarians from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords yesterday evening relaunched the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong for the new Parliament, a step that is required after every general election.

The Co-Chairs of the Group are former Green Party Leader, Baroness Natalie Bennett and Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Alistair Carmichael MP.

Natalie Bennett says: “The Group will be a real forum for discussion and vehicle for action on human rights and democracy in Hong Kong. It will encourage and pressure the Government to turn its fine words about human rights into concrete action particularly on the issues of police brutality, breaches of the Sino British Joint Declaration, and the rights of British National (Overseas) passport holders. The Hong Kong administration and its Chinese masters will be closely watched.”

The meeting was addressed by Dr Darren Mann, a combat surgeon based in Hong Kong, whose chilling address recounted his own experiences treating those injured in the protests. He described in graphic detail some of the injuries involved, and how he had witnessed medical and nursing colleagues arrested and humiliated for providing aid to the injured.

Welcoming the launch of the group and its focus on human rights, Lord Alton of Liverpool, said: “A Task Force could be established under the auspices of a respected organisation such as the United Nations or the Red Cross, take evidence from those, like Dr Mann, who have witnessed events on the front line, and conduct an impartial, independent investigation. The global consensus on access by medical and aid workers is smashed if such actions continue with impunity. If we let Hong Kong police act like this, and do nothing, then why not the police in other countries? What precedent does it set?”

John Song, a Spokesperson for grassroots campaigning organisation, Stand With Hong Kong, said: We’re delighted the Group is keeping up pressure on the government to act, rather than only issue statements. The Hong Kong authorities are clearly in breach of the Sino British Declaration on Hong Kong, as well as the fundamental global consensus of basic human rights established by international law. We also need Magnitsky style sanctions against senior police officers and the administration to whom they are answerable.”

The stated purpose of the Group is:

To promote democracy and the rule of law, and to defend human rights in Hong Kong, to share information about Hong Kong, and to nurture relations between the United Kingdom and the people of Hong Kong.

The full list of officers of the Group, elected were:

Co-Chairs: Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (Green)

Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP (Lib Dem)

Vice Chairs: Lord Alton of Liverpool (Crossbench) Geraint Davies MP (Labour)

Dame Cheryl Gillan MP (Conservative) Sarah Champion MP (Labour)

Lord Shinkwin (Conservative) Bob Seely MP (Conservative)

Steve Double MP (Conservative) Nigel Evans MP (Conservative)

Andrew Bowie MP (Conservative) Mark Pritchard MP (Conservative)