US calls on Beijing for release of Hong Kong democracy campaigners

Topics Hong Kong | White House | China

Protestors raise their hands to symbolize the five demands of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong

The United States on Sunday (local time) called on Beijing to release pro-democratic leaders detained in Hong Kong, who are charged under the stringent national security law, over their participation in a primary election for the now-postponed Legislative Council election.

"We join the international community in urging Beijing and Hong Kong authorities to release pan-democratic candidates detained in Hong Kong. Further proof the national security law is really meant to stifle dissent and undermine Hong Kong's autonomy," Ned Price, the US State Department spokesperson said in a tweet.

This comes after the Hong Kong police charged 47 pro-democracy activists under the national security law on Sunday over participation in a primary election for the now-postponed Legislative Council election, Hong Kong Free Press reported.

While condemning the detention of the leaders, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for their immediate release. The US stands with the people of Hong Kong, Blinken added.

"We condemn the detention of and charges filed against pan-democratic candidates in Hong Kong's elections and call for their immediate release. Political participation and freedom of expression should not be crimes. The U.S. stands with the people of Hong Kong," Blinken tweeted.

So far, Hong Kong Police have arrested 55 of the city's pro-democracy campaigners in a series of dawn raids last month.

China imposed the draconian National Security Law in Hong Kong last year. The law criminalises secession, subversion, and collusion with foreign forces and carries with it strict prison terms. It came into effect from July 1, 2020.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel