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United States: Freedom House Applauds Committee Action on Hong Kong Bills, Urges Floor Passage
In response to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passing Hong Kong–related legislation out of committee, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“This week’s decisive congressional action on Hong Kong sends the unmistakable signal that the US Congress stands with the people of Hong Kong in their historic quest to defend their freedoms,” said Annie Boyajian, director of advocacy at Freedom House. “Unanimous committee passage of bills that would impose sanctions on human rights violators in Hong Kong, and prohibit the export of crowd-control items to Hong Kong police, makes it clear that ongoing violations by the Chinese government of the ‘one country, two systems’ framework and excessive violence by the Hong Kong police against protesters will not be ignored. The Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to discredit the massive Hong Kong protests cannot hide what the world knows to be true—that the CCP is violating fundamental rights enshrined in Hong Kong’s law. We urge floor passage of these important bills as soon as Congress returns from recess, and we look forward to President Trump signing them into law.”
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (S.1838/H.R.3289), which passed unanimously in both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee, would impose sanction on human rights abusers in Hong Kong. The bill would also require the US Secretary of State to evaluate, at least annually, whether Hong Kong remains sufficiently autonomous from mainland China to justify its current special treatment under US law.
The PROTECT Hong Kong Act (H.R.4270) was only voted on by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and also passed unanimously. In response to excessive violence deployed against protesters by the Hong Kong police, the bill would prohibit the commercial export of tear gas and other crowd-control items to the Hong Kong police force.
Hong Kong is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2019.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.