Hong Kong: arrest of activists seriously violates fundamental human rights

The ITUC condemns the arrest of 53 of Hong Kong’s most prominent pro-democracy activists, including the chair of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) Carol Ng.

The detentions were made by local police, under the controversial National Security Law, for trying to “overthrow” the government by holding primary elections for pro-democracy candidates in last year’s postponed elections.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow condemned the arrests: “This is a full-on assault on the basic human rights of the people of Hong Kong: freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble. As such, we condemn it in the strongest terms and call for the immediate release of these 53 activists.

“If Hong Kong has a problem, then it’s not people like this who simply exercise their basic rights. The problem is the repressive National Security Law that must be repealed.”

Carol Ng is well known for her dedication to the rights of working people, particularly aviation workers, when she was general secretary of the British Airways Hong Kong International Cabin Crew Association.

Stephen Cotton, general secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), commented: “Carol’s arrest, along with that of the 52 other activists, is an outrageous attack on workers that will only breed more resistance. Their arrest represents a serious violation of fundamental human rights and freedom of speech, as well as the further erosion of democracy in Hong Kong. These activists must be released without delay, and this law must be revoked.”