United States: Freedom House Applauds Senate Passage of Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act | Freedom House

United States: Freedom House Applauds Senate Passage of Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act

Washington

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.”

Hong Kong is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2019. Freedom House has also released a policy brief with recommendations for how policymakers can address the democratic crisis in Hong Kong.

China is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2019, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 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.

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