Since 1997, the Hong Kong Government had started to manipulate all of its political apparatus to suppress dissidents’ voice. One of the latest cases is the abuse of police power in early May when the Fortune Global Forum was held there. Three fellow citizens in Hong Kong were arrested and prosecuted. As a member of the Education International (EI), the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (HKPTU) is requesting sister unions all over the world for an Urgent Action Appeal. The appeal is to protest against Hong Kong Government’s abuse of police power and its increasing suppression of peaceful demonstrations. Your support would be very helpful for them and the freedom of demonstration in Hong Kong.
In early May 2001, when the Fortune Global Forum was held, the Police Force unnecessarily restricted the demonstration area to more than 300 metres away from the forum venue. This had essentially kept the attendants of the Forum, including President Jiang of the People’s Republic of China, from hearing or seeing the protesters.
On 8 May, the police assaulted two volunteers of the Hong Kong Alliance In Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China (Alliance, to which HKPTU is a member), Ng Kwok Hung and Wan Shu Lam, who were peacefully driving an Alliance’s van in a direction away from the forum venue, when they were stopped by the police 1000 metres from it. Leung Chun Wan, a passer-by who tried to help Ng and Wan, was also assaulted and arrested. They were later prosecuted for obstruction and assaulting a police officer.
On 12 May, before a mass demonstration against the abuse of police power, the same van was detained by the police and prohibited to join the demonstration for technical excuses.
All of these police moves obviously convey a message that voice of dissidents would not be tolerated and the Hong Kong police force just acts as a political apparatus to suppress peaceful demonstration. The HKPTU and the Alliance has decided to give full support to the citizens arrested and to protect the freedom of speech and demonstration.
To extend you support, you may sign the protest letter enclosed in the following page and return to AU Pak Kuen, Vice President of HKPTU and the official delegate to this EI Annual Conference. You may also send a letter to the Hong Kong Government. (email: [email protected] ) to protest against the abuse of police power and the violent suppression of peaceful and non-violent exercise of the right of expression. Please also demand that the prosecution of the three citizens arrested be dropped.