Joint statement

Democracy and Human Rights Organizations Respond to Threat of Chinese Government Sanctions

Freedom House stands in solidarity with those in Hong Kong and China who aspire to live in a free society.

On August 10, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) announced plans to sanction 11 U.S. politicians and heads of organizations that further democracy and human rights around the world, including National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman, National Democratic Institute president Derek Mitchell, International Republican Institute president Daniel Twining, and Freedom House president Michael Abramowitz. 

These threatened sanctions come as police arrested media executive and activist Jimmy Lai, politician and advocate Agnes Chow, and several other leading figures in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, claiming as justification the draconian national security law that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) recently imposed on Hong Kong. 

Today’s announcement is yet another weak attempt to deflect attention from the CCP’s relentless attacks on the fundamental human and political rights of its own citizens. The CCP cannot hide the obvious and overwhelming desire of the people of Hong Kong to govern themselves as provided for under the Basic Law; it cannot hide its imprisonment of more than a million Uyghurs; and it cannot hide its denial of the basic freedoms of thought and expression of all Chinese people.    

The National Endowment for Democracy, National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, and Freedom House are inspired by and stand in solidarity with all those in Hong Kong and China who aspire to live in a free society with democratic rights, access to justice, and freedom of expression.

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