Trespass at the British Consulate General of Hong Kong by the Hong Kong Police Force

Saturday, January 11, 2020 6:00 PM

On 11 January 2020 at around 5:20 pm (local time), the Hong Kong Police Force trespassed the boundaries of the British Consulate General of Hong Kong, stopped-and-searched over 20 people within the consular premises, and arrested at least one person.

“Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” has researched and ascertained, with reasonable confidence, that the area in question falls within the perimeters of the British Consulate General of Hong Kong [1]. Her Majesty’s Consulate General occupies Inland Lot no. 8675, which was leased to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland starting from 23 April 1993. The Conditions of the Grant were explicitly provided to be in accordance with the provisions of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The land area of the Consulate General has been clearly demarcated with grey bricks, which are markedly different from the red bricks used for the surrounding public areas. Footage from Pragmatic Media is available, showing police officers inside the area marked by grey bricks [2].

Under international law, law enforcement agents are not allowed to enter a consulate without express permission from the Consul-General. This could be considered as violation of consular premises, in contravention of Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which states that: “The authorities of the receiving State shall not enter that part of the consular premises which is used exclusively for the purpose of the work of the consular post except with the consent of the head of the consular post or of his designee or of the head of the diplomatic mission of the sending State.” The Convention is also promulgated as domestic Hong Kong law under the Consular Relations Ordinance (Chapter 557 of the Laws of Hong Kong).

"It is extremely concerning that riot police should come to a peaceful protest outside the British Consulate-General, in an act that was both unnecessary, provocative and potentially in breach of diplomatic norms and an infringement on the boundaries of the Consulate-General property. I have contacted the Consul General and I urge the British government to issue an urgent statement both in defence of the right to peaceful protest and its own boundaries and diplomatic protocols. I also urge the Consulate-General to monitor the case of the individual who was arrested to ensure her well-being and proper legal representation," said Benedict Rogers, co-founder and Chairman of Hong Kong Watch.

“Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” hereby condemns the Hong Kong Police Force’s violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and calls on the Governments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the People’s Republic of China as the receiving State to apologise for this contravention and to respect the Vienna Convention. We also call for Her Majesty’s Government to consider the matter gravely: Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Mission, which represents the Sovereign itself, has been trespassed upon; this is a clear affront and challenge to the State. We urge Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to acknowledge and condemn the diplomatic wrongdoing of the Governments of Hong Kong and China and to defend the rules-based international order.

Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.

Website: standwithhk.org Email: [email protected]

Facebook: standwithhk Instagram: standwithhk_ Twitter: standwithhk

Footnotes

[1] Please refer to the following set of documents related to the land boundaries and conditions of the British Consulate of Hong Kong: bit.ly/2R766299

[2] https://www.thestandnews.com/politics/%E9%9D%92%E5%B9%B4%E8%8B%B1%E9%A0%98%E9%A4%A8%E5%A4%96%E4%BD%88%E7%BD%AE%E6%96%87%E5%AE%A3-%E8%AD%A6%E6%8B%98%E4%B8%80%E5%B0%91%E5%A5%B3-%E7%96%91%E5%9C%A8%E9%A0%98%E9%A4%A8%E7%AF%84%E5%9C%8D%E5%85%A7%E5%9F%B7%E6%B3%95-%E4%BF%9D%E5%AE%88%E9%BB%A8%E6%88%90%E5%93%A1%E9%97%9C%E6%B3%A8/