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Rally calls for international sanctions on officials

2020-01-12 HKT 15:51
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  • Rally calls for international sanctions on officials
Thousands of people rallied in Central on Sunday afternoon calling on the international community to impose sanctions on the Hong Kong government - which they accuse of violating the basic human rights of residents.

Representatives of allied activist groups from Canada, Europe and Taiwan made remarks and led the attendees in chants of “Fight for freedom! Stand with Hong Kong!"

Speakers also celebrated the results of Saturday's presidential election in Taiwan that saw the Democratic Progressive Party's Tsai Ing-wen voted to a second term in a landslide.

“The Taiwanese demonstrated how peaceful it could be if we have democracy," said rally organiser Ventus Lau.

“And we have to understand the Taiwanese fought hard in previous decades so that they can have this power today," Lau said. “So if we want to have democracy like them, we need to fight hard and to continue our fight with the Communist Party.”

He also called on foreign countries to follow the United States in passing legislation to sanction Hong Kong officials if authorities do not accept the five core demands of the protest movement.

Lau said the Hong Kong government is capable of introducing a fully democratic legislature by abolishing the functional constituencies in upcoming Legco elections this year. If it doesn’t, he says the United States will trigger sanctions and officials will face the strongest retribution.

Protesters waved flags of foreign countries, including US, Japanese and UK flags. Some said the American flag represents freedom and justice.

Oragnisers claimed a turnout of 36,000 people, though police estimate only 3,000 were present at the peak of the rally.

After the rally ended at 5pm, some protesters attempted to head to the British consulate in Admiralty, only to be met by a large force of riot police. A number of people were searched, and some were taken away.

Yet more police vehicles and riot police stood guard around the consulate, and most protesters chose to stay away. (Additional reporting by AP)

Last updated: 2020-01-12 HKT 19:16