Founder of Nobel Peace Prize laureate organisation expresses disapproval of police brutality in Hong Kong

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Civic Party legislators Alvin Yeung and Jeremy Tam Mah-ho met Dr Rebecca Johnson, a Founding President of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) afternoon today.

Dr Johnson founded the ICAN with several other activists in 2007. The organisation was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2017. She is also the founder and executive director of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy.

Jeremy Tam praised Dr Johnson for her contribution to international de-nuclearisation, particularly her advocacy for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted by the United Nations in July 2017.

“I was deeply impressed by her perseverance and courage, which was vital to the success of the international treaty,” he said. “It would be great if the Hong Kong government would respect international standards about regulating the use of force and firearms by law enforcement agencies against protestors too.”

During the meeting Dr Johnson cited deep concerns about police brutality in Hong Kong.

“The use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protestors was unnecessary, and it’s very dangerous, as it could put at risk the lives of the people on the scene,” she said.

The ICAN Founding President also told the legislators that firing of rubber bullets at protestors’ heads was “inhuman” and “unacceptable”.

On the democratisation of Hong Kong, she indicated her full support.

“As a British citizen, I regret that Britain had not fully embedded democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Hong Kong before the city was returned to China, while these democratic institutions were enjoyed by British citizens at home even back then,” she said sympathetically. “Had we done this more thoroughly thirty years ago, Hong Kong’s situation would be much different now.”

She urged the Hong Kong government to acknowledge the demands of the protestors, and take steps to address citizens’ concerns with the extradition bill, as well as human rights and democracy in the city.

Alvin Yeung appreciated her support for democracy in Hong Kong. “International attention definitely helped Hong Kong. As the world makes themselves clear they are watching, the Hong Kong government has to behave civilly to its citizens,” he said. “That is not foreign powers meddling China’s domestic affairs as some pro-Beijing hardliners might say. We are not asking for the moon from China, we’re just asking China to honour its promises made to the Hong Kong people before the Handover. Hong Kong is where China can demonstrate to the international community its commitment to what it has promised.”

Dr Johnson will attend the South South Forum organised by the Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University on 28-30 June 2019 as a keynote speaker, where she will share her expertise in de-nuclearisation and experience in activism.

 

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