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大使館發言人批評意大利國會邀請我作聽證ㅤ外交部長反駁斥捍衛言論自由

2019/11/30 — 20:24

圖片來源:作者 Facebook

圖片來源:作者 Facebook

感謝意大利國會議員邀請,日前我藉視像通話方式,參與意大利國會外交及人權委員會的聽證會,呼籲意大利支持香港實現民主普選,停止出口衝鋒車予香港警察,亦鼓勵他們參考《香港人權民主法案》醞釀制裁機制。

聽證結束以後,本來當地關注尚算有限,但中國駐意大利使館發言人高調發表聲明批評意大利國會議員「執意與黃之鋒搞視頻通話,為港獨分子撐腰」,就令到香港議題再度進佔輿論版面。

根據「中國外交 bingo 紙」,聲明內文中了至少 9 個關鍵詞,包括斥我「竭力 #顛倒黑白#美化暴力,詆毀一國兩制……是個徹頭徹尾的港獨 #跳樑小丑」,還有「#極其錯誤#不負責任」,表示 #強烈不滿#堅決反對,呼籲有關人士 #尊重主權(???),多做有利中意友好與合作事宜,這只反映中國外交系統何等「玻璃心」。

廣告

據意大利記者告知,中國駐意大利大使館發言人的取態,導致意大利外交部長及國會議員先後回應,表明捍衛言論自由,反對中國政府阻礙交流;同時,政界與傳媒亦深深體會到中共威權擴張的可怕,相信此舉只會有助香港令國際社會明白,為何與香港同行就是捍衛自由。

作用曾遭中共駐多國使館均曾批評人士,我已對一切批評見怪不怪,也由衷感謝中國外交系統的批評,往往本來聽證會也沒有甚麼關注,但只要大使館發言批評,就令到香港議題再度進佔輿論版面。我會繼續努力,讓世界看見香港,與香港同行。

廣告

最後,附上自己的國會發言全文給各位細閱:

Thursday, 28 November 2019
Italy Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Testimony by Joshua Wong

Good afternoon,

May I first express our heartfelt gratitude to the Senate’s generous invitation to give testimony before the honourable Senators and Congressmen, even though I’m not allowed to fly to Italy. The very moment I was rejected by the court to travel, I felt that it was even worse than deciding my sentences in jail as I would not be able to meet with friends in Europe to explain our cause for democracy and freedom.

Implications of Local Election result

As you may aware of Hong Kong’s local election record-high turnout, almost 3 million Hong Kong people, in a community and policy-based election, had cast ballot to express our discontent to the government and huge distrust to the Beijing authorities. Democrats went up to 385 seats, but the largest pro-Beijing party DAB, who owned 119 seats in the last term, had reduced to 21 seats.

The significance of this election to the world is that HK's current political crisis must be resolved by political solution, instead of policing force. The implications of this election are more than the number of seats in the council, but a sharp political message to the world that Hong Kong people stand with fellow protestors, and our resolve to free elections and a thoroughly independent investigation on police brutality. These humble demands are denied by China since 1997.

Civil Liberties Denied

Unfortunately, I have the most frequent encounters of civil liberties deprivation recently. At first, I went protesting against the controversial extradition bill, exercising my freedom to assembly. The government arrested me and charged me of inciting people taking part in an unlawful assembly. Then I went contesting in this local election, yet the government banned me from running for office because of my political stance. I turned to international advocacy, planning to fly to Italy explain to friends in Europe our democratic and peaceful cause. Regrettably, the court thought this Senate hearing is not important and rejected my travel application. Following the court decision, it's clear now I'm deprived of the right to election, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly (not allowed to appear on designated area), and freedom of speech. The civil liberties guaranteed in the constitution are however no longer applicable to me.

The principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ is a fragile ruling philosophy defining China-Hong Kong relations, guaranteeing the global financial city its autonomy. But in the past 22 years, Beijing intervened on many fronts already. Since 2014, Hong Kong’s civil society, particularly student leaders, had become the target of revenge in the past 5 years. I was arrested for 3 times, prosecuted and later imprisoned for my leading role in the Umbrella Movement. My colleague, Nathan Law, the youngest Councillor in HK’s history, was unseated and later imprisoned for the same reason. So this time people learnt from the experience and not to rely on particular ‘leading activists’ in order to prevent them from exposing to political prosecution. Besides, In the past three years, altogether Six elected legislators are disqualified for ridiculous reasons and led to an uninvited constitutional re-interpretation by Beijing.

Most recently in last week, Chinese troops, not only ready to be deployed, they have actually deployed soldiers near university area with an excuse to 'clear the barricades' of the streets. It is important to voice out to the global community, which is an attempt to coerce China's aggressive behavior using international pressure.

Trusted and Self-correcting protestors VS Abusive Police Power

In the past five months, I took a lot of interviews from journalists all over the world who are interested in reporting Hong Kong. They often find it difficult to understand why a social movement can be led without a leader, why protestors’ use of force is tolerated by fellow Hong Kong people and whether there is foreign forces behind this movement. Behind all these questions, I would like to appeal to you two messages:
firstly, the police brutality is far more serious than what is reported. Pregnant women also got beaten by police; young female (who is not a protestor) was gang raped inside the police station and many others

Secondly, there is strong and mutual trust among protestors. Certainly, protestors always have different tactical viewpoints. But there are apparently some principles guiding protestors’ decision-making, to name a few: to achieve the five demands, to prevent casualty, to avoid being arrested and to achieve mass support. These principles are essential, although we have suffered a lot of notorious police brutality in the past five months, making us more determined to fight for the five demands in solidarity.

As I mentioned the above, I realise these features are the important elements when practising democracy - mutual trust, transparency, people’s mandate, checks-and-balance. It is just ironic that Hong Kong is far from practising full democracy and free election under the authoritarian rule of Xi Jinping.

Another Frontier: International Advocacy

International advocacy is another frontier that Hong Kong people are keen on taking part in. It is the reason why I find compelled to travel and explain our cause and demands to the world. Before testifying in this committee, I attended an assembly an hour ago to yield for international support and to express our acknowledgement to advocacy efforts on the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. The bill is signed by the US President today to coerce and prevent further human rights violation in Hong Kong. I also wrote to several Italian papers to share the viewpoints of the protestors during this period. To enhance the understanding of Hong Kong and deteriorating human right situation in China is essential for world leaders to make an informed choice in their collaboration with the Chinese authorities too.

Why Italy should care about Hong Kong?

However, I have to say I'm quite disappointed reading the Italy Foreign Minister’s Luigi Di Maio indifferent remarks on the dire human rights situation in Hong Kong. Prolonged police brutality since June this year, what protestors facing are live round bullets. Not to mention the fact that some Italian car factories like IVECO did play a part in the brutality of Hong Kong police by supplying police vehicles. I believe a responsible state like Italy should take the conscience of human dignity into consideration.

In fact, Hong Kong can serve as a story to learn from. We were unaware of the Chinese regime's intention to gain influence and control over our economy in the early years. And our economy now is to some extent too reliant on China, which makes our battle for freedom and democracy harder. Italy should stay alert to the reliance on Chinese economic interests. There's no free lunch in the world.

Many would say I am over worrying or being too skeptical about China. But the truth is China is known for not playing by the rules and has a notorious track record for its human rights violations. The failure of 'One Country Two Systems' in Hong Kong represents the notorious track record of China not honouring the international treaty signed in 1984. Besides, there are hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uighurs have been detained in camps without trial now. Victims have come forth and said they are forced to take medicines that lead to infertility, young female Uighurs are forced into marriage with Chinese officials to exchange for the safety of their families. 30 years ago, the Chinese Government sent tanks against its own people on the 4th June despite the public and global attention. It almost happened last week in two universities lockdown and it is my view that the international pressure had prevented this massacre from happening.

Possible Actions by Italy

Finally, I understand that Business leaders and politicians worry that if they directly confront China on its human rights abuses, it could jeopardize future deals. Yet it is my humble wish Italy will also be truth-ful to the promises the European Union has made. EU have pledged themselves to defend and advocate for human rights in neighboring countries and the world and promised to never directly or indirectly encourage human rights violations. Italy and the rest of the free world should refrain from turning a blind eye to this.

Our position is clear: HK people are defending not only the civil liberties, democratic values and economic freedom of this international city. Standing up against the largest authoritarian regime after the Cold War, we shall continue our fight for democracy lest HK becomes a police state nor an authoritarian state. I appeal to you to stand with the people of Hong Kong.

Thank you.

 

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