47 pro-democratic freedom activists in Hong Kong were arrested on February 28, 2021 on the basis of the new national security law imposed by the Chinese regime and promulgated by the Hong Kong authorities on June 30, 2020.
They are charged with conspiring against the political order for organizing and participating in the primary elections that the broad spectrum of pro-democratic liberties forces held on July 11 and 12, 2020 with the participation of 610,000 voters to form an electoral list for the Hong Kong Legislative Council (Legco) election that was to be held in September 2020 but were postponed on allegations of public health risks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Among the accused is veteran socialist Leung Kwok-hung, popularly known as Long Hair due to his promise to cut his hair only after democratic freedoms are guaranteed to the Chinese people. He made this promise on the occasion of the massacre in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.
Long Hair is also charged in another case along with 6 activists for organizing the mass protests held in Hong Kong from May 15, 2019 for the five democratic demands:
- withdrawal of the extradition law to Continental China;
- withdrawal of the riots charge that can be punishable by ten years in prison;
- freedom for arrested protesters and withdrawal of the charges;
- independent commission of inquiry to judge police violence;
- resignation of the current chief executive Carrie Lam and universal suffrage for all legislative posts and for the chief executive).
Also arrested are union leaders Carol Ng, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) and Winnie Yu, chairwoman of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance, one of the leaders of the Hong Kong nurses’ strike that called for the closure of the city’s borders to prevent the spread of the pandemic. Winnie Yu has also had her employment contract suspended due to the lawsuit.
The trial on the merits is not due to begin until May 31, 2021. The defendants could be sentenced to life in prison. This is the largest ongoing lawsuit based on the new National Security Law. However, there are other ongoing cases against pro-freedom democratic activists on the basis of the same law. Some parties and organizations have declared their dissolution and others have withdrawn from the coalition organizing unified protests for democratic freedoms.
The CSP-Conlutas defends and calls on the international trade union movement, the political parties (especially the left-wing ones), the student associations, the popular and social movements, and the defenders of democratic freedoms to stand up for the immediate release of Leung Kwok-hung (Long Hair), Carol Ng, Winnie Yu and all the other political prisoners in Hong Kong, and for the repeal of the infamous National Security Law.