Wed, 25 May 2022

Brussels [Belgium], January 21 (ANI): The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution slamming the Chinese government's crackdown on press freedoms in Hong Kong.

The resolution -- adopted by 585 votes in favour, 46 against and 41 abstentions -- calls for the EU to provide lifeboat schemes for fleeing Hong Kongers and to sanction officials responsible for the crackdown.

"Parliament condemns in the strongest terms the deterioration of human rights in Hong Kong, including severe restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of association and press freedom. MEPs call on the Hong Kong government to release all political prisoners and drop charges against all peaceful protesters arrested in recent years," the resolution reads.

China controlled government's implementation of the National Security Law has upended Hong Kong's political environment in the past year, according to several media reports. The city authorities now view political participation as subversive, and the authorities are targeting many across a broad cross-section of the population under the new law.

The European lawmakers urge the Chinese authorities to repeal the National Security Law as they consider it a breach of China's international commitments and obligations.

MEPs note the increasing attempts by the Chinese Government to legitimise its authoritarian system internally and externally and call on the Hong Kong and Macao authorities to fully respect the rule of law, human rights, democratic principles and the high degree of autonomy under the 'one country, two systems' principle.

They deeply regret recent modifications to Hong Kong's electoral law and the arrest and harassment of representatives of its pro-democratic opposition.

MEPs urge the Council to introduce targeted sanctions against Hong Kong and Chinese officials responsible for the ongoing human rights crackdown, as well as against companies complicit in these violations. They ask for a diplomatic and political boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. (ANI)

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