Why Hong Kong will not be partying with the Party

Amnesty International has painted a picture of political persecution in the city that ‘violates human rights’

Behind the red razzmatazz of the Communist Party of China’s centenary celebrations is the iron grip of repression.

In a damning 47-page report, Amnesty International has painted a picture of political persecution in Hong Kong that “violates human rights.”

Freedom of speech in the city has been muzzled by a Beijing-imposed National Security Law. Mass arrests have followed with major pro-democracy activists imprisoned.

“In one year, the National Security Law has put Hong Kong on a rapid path to becoming a police state and created a human rights emergency for the people living there,” Yamini Mishra, the Asia-Pacific regional director at Amnesty International, said.

The facts:

  • The ‘One Country Two Systems” model has effectively been destroyed by China’s ruling Communist Party.
  • It was the pillar of an agreement hammered out by the United Kingdom and China before the handover in 1997.
  • The blueprint was designed to guarantee a high degree of autonomy for the city from Beijing.
  • Wide-ranging civil rights would be protected for at least 50 years, according to the Joint Declaration.
  • Since then, those “freedoms” have gradually been eroded, culminating in mass pro-democracy protests during the summer of discontent in 2019.
  • Last year, Beijing forced through a draconian National Security Law to suppress dissent in Hong Kong.

What was said: “Ultimately, this sweeping and repressive legislation threatens to make the city a human rights wasteland increasingly resembling mainland China,” Mishra, of Amnesty International, said.

Red terror: “From politics to culture, education to media, the law has infected every part of Hong Kong society and fomented a climate of fear that forces residents to think twice about what they say, what they tweet and how they live their lives,” Mishra added.

Delve deeper: Hong Kong’s independent judiciary is now at risk of being breached after the city’s media was silenced following the closure of pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily earlier this month.

China’s hellscape: Yet that was just the latest crackdown as Beijing flexed its authoritarian muscles. On June 10, Amnesty International revealed that the CCP was creating “a dystopian hellscape” for ethnic Muslims in Xinjiang.

Torture and lies: At least one million Muslims have reportedly been held in detention camps in Xinjiang with reports of torture and sexual abuse. China has denied the allegations, calling them “lies.”

China Factor comment: There is very little for Hong Kong residents to celebrate this week. So, it is rather unlikely they will be painting the town red as the Party parties.