Hong Kong conviction flouts national and international law

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has condemned the conviction of union leader Lee Cheuk Yan, General Secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), under the new National Security Law.

Lee Cheuk Yan, with six other activists, was found guilty of unauthorized assembly for taking part in anti-government protests in 2019. He was released on bail until a hearing on 16 April when he could receive a jail sentence.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said: “We stand in solidarity with Lee Cheuk Yan and the other defendants today and we condemn this prosecution. He was taking part in a protest organised by the trade unions. To prosecute him for this infringes the legitimate right of trade unions to participate in social and economic affairs and violates the principle of freedom of association.

“We urge the government in Hong Kong to drop the charges against all the activists and respect their obligations under the international labour and human rights treaties they have ratified.”

Article 39 of the Hong Kong Basic Law protects the right to freedom of association, peaceful assembly and political participation as it incorporates International Labour Organization Convention 87, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.