US and EU condemn arrests of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong


Hundreds of people demonstrated in front of a Hong Kong court on Monday after 47 pro-democracy activists were charged with a national security crackdown, arrests leading to the conviction of Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the European Union. .

The 47 were among more than 50 arrested in January and face charges of “conspiracy to commit subversion” under a draconian national security law imposed by the Chinese communist government designed to stifle dissent.

They were accused of organizing an unofficial primary election last July to choose candidates for the 2020 legislative elections, which were postponed due to the coronavirus.

Hong Kong authorities said the survey was intended to “overthrow” the government.

Pro-democracy protesters protest outside the West Kowloon Magistrates Courts in Hong Kong during a hearing for 47 opposition activists accused of violating the city's national security law on March 1, 2021.
Pro-democracy protesters protest outside the West Kowloon Magistrates Courts in Hong Kong during a hearing for 47 opposition activists accused of violating the city’s national security law on March 1, 2021.
Paul Yeung / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Blinken called for the release of the 47 Hong Kong protesters.

“We condemn the arrest and charges brought against pan-democratic candidates in the Hong Kong elections and call for their immediate release. Political participation and freedom of expression should not be crimes. The United States supports the people of Hong Kong. ” said in a Twitter post on Sunday.

Pro-democracy supporters protesting outside the West Kowloon court in Hong Kong on March 1, 2021.
Pro-democracy supporters protesting outside the West Kowloon court in Hong Kong on March 1, 2021.
Peter Parks / Getty

The EU said the arrests “make it clear that legitimate political pluralism will no longer be tolerated in Hong Kong,” spokeswoman Nabila Massrali said in a statement.

“The EU urges the Hong Kong and Beijing authorities to fulfill their commitments to fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, enshrined in the Basic Law and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The EU calls for the immediate release of those arrested, “he added.

The EU said the arrests make "It is clear that legitimate political pluralism will no longer be tolerated in Hong Kong, ”spokeswoman Nabila Massrali said in a statement.
The EU said the arrests “make it clear that legitimate political pluralism will no longer be tolerated in Hong Kong,” spokeswoman Nabila Massrali said in a statement.
Anthony Kwan / Getty Images)

Outrage against China’s handling of Hong Kong comes as a new Gallup poll released Monday shows Americans’ views of China have fallen to record lows.

Americans’ favorability ratings for China hit a record low of 20 percent, down 13 percentage points from 33 percent a year ago.

The outrage against China's political handling of Hong Kong comes as a new Gallup poll shows that American views of China have fallen to record lows.
The outrage against China’s political handling of Hong Kong comes as a new Gallup poll shows that American views of China have fallen to record lows.
Vincent Yu / AP

The 20 percent was the lowest since the 33 percent favorability rating recorded in 1997 and 34 percent in 1989 after the Chinese government’s crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square.

With cable poles

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