Friday, August 07, 2020

From the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong, Report: "The Shrinking Safe Space for Humanitarian Aid Workers in Hong Kong":

Photograph on the cover:A widely shared photo taken from social media of medical staff sitting on the ground, their hands bound behind their backs with zip-cords, caused outrage in Hong Kong

The situation in Hong Kong has begun taking on a life of its own i states outside of China.  China's rejecton of the internationalist position on the status of Hng Kong, at least through 2017, has produced a slow moving but by now perceptible response in those states committed to Hong Kong internationalism. That reaction is appearing in different ways.  In the United States, it is bound up with the increasingly more aggressive battle between Chinese and US leaders for control of the international space beneath which each is constructing its own imperial system.  This is undertaken throufh sanctions, and financial pressure, for the moment  (e.g., here) . In the UK, there is some of that to be sure, but there are also more interesting developments. 

One of them is represented by the work of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong. This Group recemtly circulated a report entitled "The Shrinking Safe Space for Humanitarian Aid Workers in Hong Kong." As they note at the start of the Report:
This is not an official publication of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in this report are those of the group.The inquiry that led to the production and publication of this report was supported by The Whitehouse Consultancy Ltd ( which was remunerated for that work byFight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong. ( information about the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong can be found in the official register of such groups (
The Report may be accessed HERE. he Report is particularly significant for its focus on Hong Kong as a site for international human rights  efforts.  It suggests an ultimate incompatibility between Chinese Marxist Leninist nationalism and the internationalism that has permitted a transnational space for free movement among, and the development of a global, set of civil society actors engaged in work with a global scope derived from their advancement of what they veloeve is the thrust of international law and norms. It is to the threat to international human rights workers that this report draws attention.  And to that end it is as important an element of discussion with respect t such workers in Hong Kong as it might be in many other parts of the world.

The executive summary follows:

Executive Summary
In March 2020, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hong Kong launched an inquiry into possible human rights abuses on humanitarian aid workers in Hong Kong since the start of the 2019 protests. Since then, the new National Security Law has been imposed on Hong Kong by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This will have profound implications for the rule of law and future policing in Hong Kong and breaches both the Sino-British Joint Declaration and international law (see page 53). The independence of the Courts and integrity of the administration of justice will be deeply compromised and come to resemble the practices of the CCP’s one-party-one-system approach to policing rather than the traditional model of policing by consent which has been a hallmark of Hong Kong’s freedoms. That model of policing gave the city a police force which was respected and admired throughout the region – and never feared. 

The new law would also now make it a criminal offence for our witnesses to give evidence to an inquiry such as this. We were struck by the words of a courageous young doctor who told us that “in the future they will come crashing through my door, arrest me and I will just disappear.” Against this backdrop the APPG invited individuals and organisations from Hong Kong to submit first-hand evidence of the treatment of humanitarian aid workers that fell short of international standards. This exercise aimed to collect eye-witness accounts that would help to map the treatment of humanitarian aid workers in Hong Kong and inform the necessary responses. The APPG further held oral evidence hearings in May with senior medical professionals, first-aiders, an academic organisation and a journalist to discuss some of the evidence gathered. The APPG also engaged experts to curate, analyse, and evaluate the evidence of the inquiry. 

The central focus of the inquiry was to determine whether the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF), in their treatment of humanitarian aid workers, has violated international human rights law and the spirit of humanitarian law. In scrutinising this question, members of the inquiry were to pay particular regard to the actions of the HKPF in relation to 1) international humanitarian law and principles, 2) international human rights law, and 3) the Sino-British Joint Declaration. 

Having reviewed the evidence, the APPG on Hong Kong considers that:
  • Humanitarian aid workers have been subjected to a variety of treatment that fell short of international humanitarian law and principles, international human rights and the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Treatment aid workers were subjected to included intimidation, harassments, threats, physical violence, and arrests.
  • Among humanitarian aid workers, first-aiders appear to have been the main group subjected to such treatment. However, doctors and nurses also received treatment that fell short of international human rights law.
  • This treatment has had a profound effect on the humanitarian aid workers who have suffered physical and psychological injuries. This treatment has affected their ability to provide medical assistance to injured protesters.
  • This inquiry found no evidence to suggest that the humanitarian aid workers were involved in the hostilities to justify the HKPF stripping them of the protections otherwise available to humanitarian aid workers.
The HKPF’s treatment of humanitarian aid workers and their interference within hospitals have resulted in injured protesters not receiving the required medical care in time or at all. These actions may also have affected the medical care of the population in general, as a result of the hospitals’ independence and confidentiality being diminished by the ever-growing interference from the HKPF.
In light of the above, the APPG on Hong Kong recommends:
  • The UK to lead the efforts to establish an independent mechanism to investigate the situation in Hong Kong, for example:
    • -  At the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (or the UN General Assembly)
      to establish an investigative mechanism to consider the situation.
    • -  Work with the International Bar Association to establish a comprehensive and
      independent inquiry.
  • The UK to engage in a dialogue with the city’s authorities to assist the UN inquiries on
    the issue.
  • The UK should urgently impose Magnitsky-style sanctions on those responsible for
    permitting the excessive police violence at high level in the administration, including but
    not limited to Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the Commissioner of Police.
  • The UK should ensure that its bold and encouraging British National (Overseas)
    citizenship immigration policies, designed to protect Hongkongers and adhere to the UK’s responsibilities under the Joint Declaration, are not applicable to those who have encouraged/endorsed the National Security Law, or who have encouraged, supported or condoned police violence.
  • The UK to provide capacity-building assistance to the Hong Kong authorities to:
    • -  Ensure that the independent mechanism for lodging complaints is
      comprehensive and able to conduct its work independently and effectively.
    • -  Strengthen the human rights training to all police officers responding to protests.
  • The UK to work with Hong Kong authorities to strengthen the human rights protections in the city, as stipulated in the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
  • The UK to explore whether the targeted humanitarian aid workers fall within the purview of the Refugee Convention and consider how they could be best assisted.

2020 年3月,英國國會「跨黨派國會香港小組」(APPG) 向自2019 年香港示威中的人 道救援工作者懷疑遭受到人權侵害的情況展開調查。其後,中國共產黨 (中共)將新 成立的維護國家安全法 (國安法) 強行於香港實施。此舉將對香港的法治和日後執法 構成徹底的影響,並破壞中英聯合聲明及國際法 (見53頁)。香港法院的獨立性及司 法機構的誠信將被嚴重損害,進一步以類近中共一黨一制的執法手段取代良久以來 印証香港自由地位的民許警治模式。此模式曾成就了一隊被受尊重及愛戴,而非懼怕 的亞洲最佳警隊。
國安法下,我們的證人於這類調查中作證便已觸犯刑事罪行。我們無一不被一位年輕 醫生的勇氣深深觸動,他說 :「不久將來他們便會破門而入把我拘捕,而我亦將人間 蒸發。」在這背景下,APPG 邀請香港的個人及團體提交有關人道救援工作者遭受遠 差於國際標準對待的第一手資料。此舉在於收集目擊者證供以了解人道救援工作者 的經歷及組織必要的回應。APPG與資深醫護人員、急救員、一所教育機構及傳媒工 作者於5月舉行口供聽證會討論收集到的證據。此外,APPG亦有邀請専家策展、分析 及評估是次調查所得的證據。
是次調查目標在於釐定香港警隊於人道救援工作者的對待中有否違反國際人權法及 人道法精神,調查成員於查察此問題時特別關注到香港警隊的行為有否與以下法案 有所衝突 : 1) 國際人道法及原則,2) 國際人權法,3) 中英聯合聲明。
考量證據後,英國國會跨黨派國會香港小組APPG認為 :
  • 人道救援工作者遭受一連串遠差於國際人道法及原則、國際人權法及 中英聯合聲明裡所能接受的對待。工作者受到恐嚇、騷擾、威脅、肢體暴力及 被拘捕。
  • 人道救援工作者當中以急救員成為最主要的受害群組。醫生和護士亦均受到 人權侵害。
  • 人權侵害對人道救援工作者帶來深遠的身心傷害,並影響他們為受傷示威者 提供醫療援助的能力。
  • 香港警隊在沒有証據顯示人道救援工作者曾參與任何敵意行為下剥削工作者 應受到的保護。
  • 香港警隊對人道救援工作者的人權侵犯及醫院的干預令受傷示威者不能接受 及時和適當的治療。醫院的獨立性和保密制度被香港警隊日益嚴重的干預而 削弱,有可能影響市民本應享有的醫療服務。
The Shrinking Safe Space for Humanitarian Aid Workers in Hong Kong
有鑑於此,英國國會跨黨派國會香港小組APPG建議 :
由英國領導建立一個獨立機制以深入調查香港的狀況,例如 :
1) 於聯合國人權理事會 (或聯合國大會)建立深入調查機制以研究香港的
2) 與國際律師協會合作建立一個全面並獨立的調查
  • 英國與香港政府部門及有關機構進行對話以協助聯合國對此問題的調查。
  • 英國該針對容許警暴的高級官員,包括但不限於行政長官林鄭月娥及警務處
  • 英國應防止曾擁護國安法及助長警暴的人士受惠於英國因給予香港人保護及 履行中英聯合聲明裡英國應負的責任而制定的英國國民(海外)公民特別移民 政策。
  • 英國協助提升香港政府部門及有關機構的能力於 :
    1) 確保獨立投訴機制的全面性並能夠單獨有效地展開工作 2) 加強處理示威運動警員的人權培訓
  • 英國根據中英聯合聲明規定與香港政府部門及有關機構合作,加強香港的人 權保障。
  • 英國探討曾受迫害的人道救援工作者是否符合難民公約的庇護範圍並研究最 佳的協助方案。

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