Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor Requests Investigation of Shen Yun Cancellation

By Lin Yi, Epoch Times
April 29, 2010 9:03 pm Last Updated: October 1, 2015 8:15 pm

One of the presenters of Shen Yun Performing Arts in Hong Kong has sued the Hong Kong government for refusing Shen Yun members' visas into Hong Kong. (Li Ming/Epoch Times)
One of the presenters of Shen Yun Performing Arts in Hong Kong has sued the Hong Kong government for refusing Shen Yun members' visas into Hong Kong. (Li Ming/Epoch Times)
HONG KONG–Director Law Yuk Kai announced that the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor has requested the Hong Kong government to initiate an investigation into the cancellation of Shen Yun Performing Arts in Hong Kong and to submit a report to the United Nations.

Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor (HKHRM) also expressed its support for the April 20 lawsuit filed by the presenter which addresses the circumstances that provoked the involuntary cancellation of the company’s entire run of seven shows in Hong Kong, scheduled from Jan. 27 through Jan. 31.

The HKHRM proposal was submitted to the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau regarding the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) on Feb. 19.

The proposal criticizes the Hong Kong government for refusing to grant visas to six key production staff members in the Shen Yun Performing Arts company a week before the show was to begin with the claim that these positions could be filled by local skilled labor.

This decision, according to the proposal, has infringed upon the rights to cultural expression by the performing company, robbed Hong Kong audiences of their right to watch the show, and restricted cultural freedom in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government should provide an explanation for the policies and rationale behind the decision.

Other Hong Kong public figures have also criticized the decision, suggesting that it was actually a result of political pressure from Beijing. Mr. Law expressed concern for the Communist regime's control over the Hong Kong government when it comes to sensitive issues. “The authorities seem to exert tight control just as in mainland China,” he said. “We are very worried about this situation. We hope the government can justify its decision to the United Nations.”

Law pointed out that because an audit carried out by the U.N. is authoritative, the Hong Kong government and the Chinese communist regime will pay a price for violating the treaty.

Reforms Needed

Although the U.N. might not be able to pursue all matters under the ICESCR, Mr. Law thinks that the submission of the proposal will put some pressure on the government and the Chinese communist regime, saying “It will force them to think twice before doing such things again.”

This kind of ridiculous restriction on freedom of expression brings shame to Hong Kong, according to Mr. Law. “At the very least, the government should bear moral responsibility in this matter,” he said. ”To a certain extent, it is a violation of international treaty. The Hong Kong government and Chinese communist regime should be humiliated for doing this. Criticisms, especially from authoritative bodies like the U.N. will embarrass a country or government.”

Law also hopes that the Hong Kong government will implement reforms to prevent such incidents from happening again.

With respect to the judicial review filed by the presenters of Shen Yun Performing Arts, Mr. Law said, “Ultimately, we hope that basic rights and constitutional laws can be enforced through the judicial system. We really hope that at least the court has the wish to protect human rights, and that this will be manifested through a fair trial. We hope the court can understand that in an undemocratic system, ordinary citizens rely on them to protect their rights.”

Read the original Chinese article.