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Protesters call for international support

2019-08-16 HKT 21:40
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  • Protesters call for international support
Thousands of people on Friday attended a rally in Chater Garden in Central to call for international support for the anti-extradition protests here. The Stand with Hong Kong - Power to the People rally was organised by student leaders from 12 higher education institutions. They estimated the turnout at 60,000.

The organisers want the US Congress to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, that would sanction officials who undermine the city’s freedom. There are also calls for the UK to declare that China has breached the Sino-British Joint Declaration by restricting the SAR's autonomy.

The students plan to travel to the US and Britain next month to lobby officials.

One of the participants at the rally, a man in his sixties surnamed Ling, was with a group holding British and colonial flags.

Ling says they have been lobbying the UK for help and with some success.

Ling noted that Tom Tugendhat, a British MP and chairman of parliament's Foreign Affairs Select Committee, has recently proposed granting full UK citizenship to Hongkongers who hold British National Overseas passports. The BNO passport gives UK consular protection but does not allow the holder to live in UK.

The UK controversially issued this second tier travel document ahead of the handover in 1997, whereas Portugal gave its Macau citizens, born before late 1981, full Portuguese citizenship.

Demosisto secretary-general Joshua Wong, meanwhile, said he is optimistic that the US Congress will approve sanctions against local officials, citing support from the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

The Central Government has often hit out at what it claims is the involvement of foreign forces in the protest movement.