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UN SRs Demand China to Provide Information of Police Abuse of Medics in Hong Kong Protests

Updated: Apr 23



Four UN Special Rapporteurs have written to China expressing weighty concerns about the arrest, harassment and intimidation of volunteer Hong Kong health care workers, including first-aiders, by the HK authorities in large-scale anti-extradition-law protests since June last year (1). The four SRs demand the Chinese government to provide information concerning the legal basis of arrests and detentions of healthcare workers, measures that have been taken to protect health care workers and to facilitate their work, and allegations made in the letter, e.g., a female paramedic was hit in the right eye by a pellet round allegedly shot by a police officer during a 2019-August demonstration in Tsim Sha Tsui. (Chapman Chen, HKBNews, reports)

Maltreatment of, rather than Gratitude for, Medics

Dr Darren Mann, a British surgeon living in Hong Kong who first highlighted the issue in the Lancet last November (2) who says: “It is perversely ironic that while the rest of the world shows it’s gratitude for the selfless work of healthcare professionals courageously battling Covid-19, the Hong Kong Police Force have been found to have harassed and arbitrarily detained humanitarian medical workers - you can’t “clap for carers” when your hands are zip-tied behind your back.”

Hong Kong Watch Chair Calls for Magnitsky Sanctions on Perpetrators of Protest Abuses

Benedict Rogers, co-founder and Chair of Hong Kong Watch, said: “We strongly welcome the UN experts’ representations to the Chinese authorities, which detail with the authority of the UN Special Procedures evidence of very grave violations of human rights by the Hong Kong Police. We urge the international community to take these allegations very seriously and to implement Magnitsky-style targeted sanctions on those responsible for protest abuses. We call for a full independent inquiry into police brutality in Hong Kong. At a time when healthcare workers around the world are rightly celebrated for their courage in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, it is tragic that in Hong Kong doctors, nurses and first-aiders have faced such serious violations. The letter from the UN experts may be ignored by the Chinese government, which has made no response as yet, but it must not be ignored by the international community. (3)”

End-notes 1.https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=25054

2. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)32909-5/fulltext 3. See Hong Kong Watch's comment here - https://twitter.com/hk_watch/status/1252677768984264704?s=20 See this from Human Rights First: - https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/blog/un-makes-public-independent-experts-fears-over-attacks-hong-kong-medics

Pic credit: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images

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