Global Call for Release of 12 Hong Kong Activists and Action from World Governments ‘Hong Kong 12’ detained for over 60 days after allegedly attempting to escape Hong Kong

We, the undersigned condemn the arrest and detention of the 12 Hongkonger activists who are currently being held in incommunicado detention in mainland China, including three who were under 18 years old at the time of their arrest.

The 12 activists were intercepted by China’s Coast Guard on 23 August 2020 while attempting to escape Hong Kong. Concern has been growing for the detainees, aged 16 to 30, who have now been held for more than 50 days with no communication with their families or access to lawyers of their choice.

The group of 12 were detained with the charge of “illegal border crossing,” a criminal offence that carries a sentence of up to two years in prison. After a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson labeled the detainees as “separatists” there are fears that the extreme charge of “endangering national security” could also be given. This could result in a life sentence or even the death penalty in “egregious cases.” 

Families of the 12 held an emotional press-conference in Hong Kong calling on Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, to intervene in the case and to press for the detainees’ safe return to Hong Kong, as well as ensure their access to family appointed lawyers. At least four Chinese human rights lawyers, appointed by the families, have attempted to visit the detainees but were turned away. One was told his client already had lawyers, raising concerns that the lawyers were appointed by the government and therefore unable to provide an effective defense not biased towards the state-run police.

The arrest of this group of 12 activists and their forcible removal to mainland China and their incommunicado detention further signals the alarming and rapid decline in human rights for those living in Hong Kong. Yet even so, Hongkongers continue to mount a remarkable challenge to Beijing. They are still working to resist the pervasive restrictions on their fundamental rights and freedoms, including a refusal to accept a sham version of democracy with leaders pre-approved by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).  

We call on the Chinese authorities to immediately release the 12 Hong Kongers who have been detained as a direct result of their human rights activism.

We call on world governments to take urgent action to press Chinese authorities, in the strongest possible terms, to release the Hong Kong 12. Governments must continue public pressure and demands along with concrete actions to support the peaceful exercise of rights by Hong Kong people. 

We express our solidarity with the Hong Kong movement for democracy and rights, and we salute the people of Hong Kong for refusing to remain silent as Beijing reneges on its promise of universal suffrage and democratic reforms.

Names of the Hong Kong 12: 

Hoang Lam Phuc | 黃臨福 | 16

Cheng Tsz Ho | 鄭子豪 | 17 

Liu Tsz Man | 廖子文 | 17, now 18

Kok Tse Lun | 郭子麟 | 18 

Cheung Ming Yu | 張銘裕 | 20 

Yim Man Him | 嚴文謙 | 21 

Cheung Chun Fu | 張俊富 | 22 

Li Tsz Yin  | 李子賢 | 29

Li Yu Hin (Andy Li) | 李宇軒 | 

Wong Wai Yin | 黃偉然 | 29 

Tang Kai Yin | 鄧棨然 | 30

Quinn Moon | 喬映瑜 | 33 

Signed:

Aref International Onlus
Amigos de Tíbet Colombia
Asociación Cultural Tibetano Costarricense
Asian Solidarity Council for Freedom and Democracy
ASSOCIATION FRANCE TIBET
Australia Tibet Council
Australian Uyghur Tangritagh Women's Association
Boston Uyghur Association
Casa Tíbet México
Campaign for Uyhgurs
Chinese Human Rights Defenders
Citizen Power Initiatives for China
Canada Tibet Committee
China Against the Death Penalty
China Democracy Party 
Daily Hongkong
Defend Democracy
Étudiants pour un Tibet Libre
Frankfurt Stands With Hong Kong
Free Indo-Pacific Alliance
Free Tibet
Hong Kongers in San Francisco Bay Area
Hong Kong Committee in Norway
Hong Kong Forum, Los Angeles
Hong Kong Political Affairs and Social Services (HKPASS) at UC Davis
Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan
Humanitarian China
Human Rights in China
International Campaign for Tibet
International Service for Human Rights
International Society for Human Rights - Sweden
International Tibet Network Secretariat
Gesellschaft für Menschenrechte (IGFM)
Japan Uyghur Union/ 日本ウイグル連盟
Keep Taiwan Free
La Federacion of Cantonia
Lamp of Liberty
Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada
Les Amis du Tibet, Luxembourg
Libertyusa
LUNGTA - Actief voor Tibet
National Committee of Democracy Party of China
NorCal HK Club
NOW!
Rangzen Movimento Tibete Livre, Brasil
REACH India Group
Safeguarding Defenders
Santa Barbara Friends of Tibet
Save Tibet Indonesia
Save Tibet, Austria
Students for a Free Tibet - Japan
Sierra Friends of Tibet
Sounds of the Silenced - SOS
Southern Mongolia Congress
The National Foundation Alliance of Hong Kong
Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center
Stand With Hong Kong Vienna
Students for a Free Tibet
Students for a Free Tibet - Denmark
SumOfUs
Swedish Tibet Committee
Tíbet Patria Libre - Uruguay
Taiwan Independence Project
The National Foundation Alliance of Hong Kong
The Norwegian Tibet Committee
Tibet Action Institute
Tibet Initiative Deutschland e.V.
Tíbet Mx
Tibet Support Group Ireland
Tibet Justice Center
Tibetan Community in Britain
Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey
Tibetan Community in Sweden
Tibetan community of South Australia
Tokyo Tibetan Community
Toronto Association for Democracy in China
Torontonian HongKongers Action Group
Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam
US Hongkongers Club
Uyghur Human Rights Project
Voces de Tíbet México
Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement
Vancouverites Concerned About Hong Kong
Victoria Hong Kong Tertiary Student Association
Viet Tan
We The Hongkongers
World Uyghur Congress
台灣永社 Taiwan Forever Association
臺灣東突厥斯坦協會 Taiwan East Turkestan Association
芝援香港 Global Solidarity with Hong Kong - Chicago