Big assembly planned for Human Rights Day

Local | Cindy Wan 22 Nov 2019

Cindy Wan

Civil Human Rights Front plans to organize a massive assembly on December 8 for International Human Rights Day.

It has applied for a letter of no objection from the police yesterday and is awaiting meetings on details of the rally.

The Front noted in a statement that human rights conditions have been worsening in Hong Kong since the anti-fugitive bill protests began in June.

"Myriads of human rights defenders suffered from police brutality and nearly 5,000 citizens were arrested, including minors and humanitarian workers," it said.

With the December 8 rally, CHRF hopes to urge the government to uphold its commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all United Nations human rights treaties applicable to Hong Kong.

Its deputy convener Eric Lai Yan-ho said the police have already banned at least four of the Front's applications since August.

"Police lift a rock only to drop it on their own feet. Banning protests would only trigger more public anger, not calming the society down as they wish," he said.

He said the Front trusts its supporters will protest in a peaceful manner, adding that the previous assembly on August 18 was peaceful although radical protesters were among the participants.

Lunchtime protests continued in Central yesterday, but the white-collar demonstrators shifted to the International Finance Centre due to heavy police presence at Pedder Street.

A protester said he finished lunch in 15 minutes to squeeze time, hoping the lunchtime protest would attract coverage from international media and pressurize Beijing.

He said the civil movement should focus on lobbying the international community, and Beijing has shown a softer gesture since the passing of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in the US Senate.

Meanwhile, 15 scholars, social workers, religious figures and parents started a hunger strike at Kowloon Union Church starting from 4pm yesterday, hoping to fast until the end of the District Council elections.

They demanded the government to establish an independent commission of inquiry to investigate police brutality, smooth voting of the District Council elections and the police let remaining protesters in Polytechnic University leave safely.

Among them was Ho Chi-kwan, a guest professor of sociology at Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Stephen Chan Ching-kiu, professor of cultural studies at Lingnan University, and Rose Wu, former director of Hong Kong Christian Institute.

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