TAIPEI, Taiwan–The Hong Kong Epoch Times, one of the presenters of Shen Yun Performing Arts in Hong Kong, recently filed a lawsuit against the Hong Kong government after it denied visas to six key production staff members and forced Shen Yun Performing Arts to cancel all seven shows in Hong Kong. The plaintiff believes the denial of visas was illegal and seeks compensation for the financial losses incurred due to cancellation of the shows.
Taiwan human rights attorneys are speaking out, saying that this incident again testifies to the fact that the Chinese communist regime’s “One Country, Two Systems” policy is deceptive. They urge the government of Taiwan and human rights activists in Hong Kong and Taiwan to take action to protect human rights and freedom in Hong Kong and to support the entry of Shen Yun Performing Arts into Hong Kong.
Taiwanese attorney Ken H.C. Chiu, a partner in the Kew & Lord Law Firm, said that denial of Shen Yun Performing Arts to enter Hong Kong is to be condemned, and those involved should be put on trial. In fact, there is no performing arts company who can find local resources to handle the critical technical aspects of their performance in just a few days, nor would any other country issue such a request. “The technical members are not there to arrange the chairs, but to perform critical technical work essential to the performance. Their special skills are irreplaceable.”
Attorney Yong-Cheng Kao, former Secretary General of the Taipei Bar Association, condemned Hong Kong Immigration Department officials, saying, “This underhanded oppression shows the world that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) dictatorship has reached Hong Kong. Hong Kong no longer has a base to claim that it protects its citizens’ rights, demonstrating that the “One Country, Two Systems” policy is a total failure.”
Kao also said that the CCP has persistently coerced Hong Kong Immigration Department officials to carry out oppressive, illegal, and anti-human-rights activities. Taiwan will definitely not accept it. “We must strengthen our will to fight against such dictatorship. We must ask our Taiwan government to toughen up against the CCP’s human rights violations.”
Attorney Chiu said that Falun Gong practitioners who previously wished to enter Hong Kong have been forcibly deported many times. This time, the violation of Shen Yun performers’ human rights is even more ridiculous. This incident demonstrates that the “One Country, Two Systems” policy has never been real.
Chiu added that Shen Yun represents traditional Chinese culture. It is ridiculous that the CCP forbids Chinese people to enjoy traditional Chinese culture. This action shows the CCP’s deceptive and hypocritical nature. It is afraid of the messages of truthfulness, compassion, and beauty Shen Yun conveys. It is afraid of the truth being told to the Chinese people.
Attorney Kao said he supports the presenter in seeking financial compensation: “This tells the Hong Kong government that not only have the rights of Shen Yun Performing Arts been violated, but also the rights of the Hong Kong people to enjoy the performance.“
Theresa Chu, Human Rights attorney in Taiwan and Executive Director of the Asia Branch of the Human Rights Law Foundation said, "Hong Kong Immigration Department officials have violated Article 34 of Hong Kong’s Basic Law, which states that ‘Hong Kong residents shall have freedom to engage in academic research, literary and artistic creation, and other cultural activities.’” She also pointed to the “One Country, Two System’s” policy as nothing more than a united front strategy to lure Taiwan to give in to CCP control.
Ms. Chu called for rights activists in Hong Kong and Taiwan to speak out for justice and condemn the Hong Kong Immigration Department, adding “After the Hong Kong Epoch Times filed the suit, they will work on applying for Shen Yun Performing Arts’s entrance into Hong Kong, and eventually into Mainland China. We hope this will soon come true.”