Press release November 18, 2019
United States: Freedom House Applauds Senate Passage of Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act
The US Senate takes decisive action to stand up for fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in Hong Kong.
In response to the US Senate’s unanimous passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“We applaud the US Senate for taking decisive action to stand up for fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in Hong Kong,” said Annie Boyajian, Director of Advocacy at Freedom House. “Over the last six months of protests, we have seen increasingly aggressive treatment of demonstrators by police, and intensifying violations of the ‘one country, two systems’ model by the Chinese Communist Party. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would address these issues by requiring annual US government certification that Hong Kong remains sufficiently autonomous to merit special treatment under US law. It further allows for sanctions on perpetrators of human rights abuses, which would leave them unable to vacation or study in the United States, access funds in US bank accounts, work with US business, or carry out dollar-denominated transactions. Sanctioned parties would additionally face difficulty banking at any institution with strong ties to the United States.”
“Freedom House reiterates our call for the Hong Kong government to release those wrongly detained and drop all charges against them, for restraint by the Hong Kong and mainland governments and by protesters, and for an independent international investigation into police abuses. Now that the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act has passed both chambers of Congress, the House and Senate should immediately reconcile their differing versions and pass a final bill, and the president should immediately sign it into law.”