International Legislators Condemn the Disqualifying of Hong Kong Democratic Candidates

July 30, 2020 Updated: July 30, 2020

A group of international lawmakers issued a statement on Thursday condemning the Hong Kong government’s decision to disqualify democratic candidates.

The statement was signed by 68 lawmakers from the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) representing eight European countries and the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

“The decision to disqualify democratic candidates and the anticipated delay to September’s Legislative Council elections represent unacceptable obstructions to the democratic process in Hong Kong and raise further concerns about the erosion of rights and freedoms in the city,” the statement read.

“After the widely condemned imposition of the National Security Law, these actions further curtail of Hong Kong’s way of life and will exacerbate existing grievances in the city at the time of increased tension.

“We urge the international community to meet this further diminution of Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms with a proportionate response.”

The Hong Kong government earlier disqualified 12 pro-democracy candidates from running in Hong Kong’s upcoming Legislative Council election, including prominent activist Joshua Wong.

In a separate statement, the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also condemned the disqualification of the candidates.

“It is clear they have been disqualified because of their political views, undermining the integrity of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Joint Declaration and Hong Kong’s Basic Law,” he said.

“The Hong Kong authorities must uphold their commitments to the people of Hong Kong.”

In a separate letter to the Foreign Secretary, some UK members of IPAC called for identifying Hong Kong officials who are responsible for the “dramatic decline in the city’s autonomy” and adding them to the Magnitsky sanctions list, “which is surely justified in the case of Carrie Lam, who bears responsibility for clear and significant breaches of Hong Kong’s treaty obligations.”

Yinyin Liao and Kat Piper contributed to this report