Families of 12 Hongkongers ask embassy to attend closed hearing

Local | 27 Dec 2020 2:51 pm

Family members of the 12 Hongkongers detained on the mainland urged foreign governments to send embassy personnel to attend a Shenzhen hearing to start tomorrow. 

Ten among the 12 will be on trial at Shenzhen Yantian People’s Court tomorrow for illegally crossing the border and organizing the illegal crossing. There will be a separate hearing for two others who are underage to decide whether they will be prosecuted. 

The hearings will be closed-door ones, and family members can only attend them with the permission of judges. 

Only seven families out of the twelve were notified about the trial on Dec 25, three days before the hearing starts. The trial of the ten Hongkongers was not among a list of hearings publicized by the Court that would be live-streamed.

In an open letter to foreign governments, the family members appealed for help “in safeguarding the legal rights” of the 12. Among the twelve, there are British, Portuguese, and Vietnamese nationals, they said.

The families urge foreign governments to send embassy personnel to the hearing to guarantee a proper and fair trial by the Court in Shenzhen.

“We urge governments around the world to use their voices to ensure their basic human rights are observed, the proper proceedings of these Hongkongers’ cases and their safe return to Hong Kong,” The families wrote in the letter.

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