It’s time for the world to stand up and defend our shared universal values with them, not with feeble words but with real actions, shoulder to shoulder writes Nathan Law in the Washington Post. Below is an excerpt from the article which can be read in full here

By Nathan Law, January 11, 2021

On Tuesday, Hong Kong authorities arrested and detained overnight more than 50 pro-democracy activists and politicians. After more than 40 hours of detention, many were released with their travel documents confiscated but face the potential of years in prison. This mass crackdown shows Beijing is not afraid of showing its teeth and acting like a thug. It will not stop until it has eliminated all opposing voices in Hong Kong. There is no chance for coexistence — and it’s time the international community recognized that.

Those arrested this week were the participants and organizers of the primary elections for the legislative council originally scheduled in September 2020 but postponed by the Hong Kong government. The government absurdly claims that, since the aim of the primary was to gain the majority in the council, the pro-democracy camp would then veto the budget and government’s bills, obstructing the government’s operations and thereby constituting a subversive act. What was once a constitutional power and right exercised by legislators is now a crime, with a maximum penalty of lifelong imprisonment.

The arrests reflect how the scope of political persecution has inflated. The government claimed that the national security law only targets radical and violent protesters, but the law has turned out to be stricter and more suppressive. One of those arrested was Jeffrey Andrews, the first person of color to become a social worker in Hong Kong. He did not advocate any sabotage of “national security.” When he was running as a primary candidate in the Kowloon West district, his principal policy platform was racial harmony and dialogue with the government. Yet his mere involvement in the primary led to an arrest warrant.


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