Today, 28 May 2021, Lee Cheuk Yan has been handed a new sentence of additional 18 months of jail time for taking part in a peaceful pro-democracy protest on China’s National Day in October 2019. This is on top of the 18-month imprisonment sentence for his participation in the pro-democracy protest in August 2019.
The ITUC-Asia Pacific condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the Hong Kong government’s continued abuse and weaponization of the National Security Law to criminalise and systematically crack down pro-democracy activists. Since the waves of pro-democracy protests in 2019, thousands have been arrested and hundreds have been sentenced to prison.
In his plea, Lee Cheuk Yan said, “The function of the national institution is to protect the freedom and dignity of its people, not to control [their minds and behaviour].” Yet, the Hong Kong government acts on the contrary – seriously violating its obligations under the national and international laws and flagrantly trampling upon the rights of its people.
Shoya Yoshida, General Secretary of the ITUC-Asia Pacific, rallies for support and solidarity from the trade union movement in Asia and the Pacific region to the democratic struggle of the people of Hong Kong. He said, “The ITUC-Asia Pacific demands the Hong Kong government to immediately release and unconditionally drop all the charges against Lee Cheuk Yan and other detained pro-democracy activists. We call on the Hong Kong government to cease its systematic suppression of the Hong Kong people’s rights and freedoms.”
“Silencing fearless pro-democracy figures like Lee Cheuk Yan will not stifle the peoples’ resistance. The ITUC-Asia Pacific will continue to stand by the democracy movement in Hong Kong and support their relentless resistance against autocratic and repressive Beijing-backed Hong Kong government.”
Brother Lee Cheuk Yan’s case for his attendance in the candlelight vigil for the Tiananmen Massacre anniversary on 4 June 2020 is still pending trial.