A group of Hong Kong students in the UK have protested in London over the recent disqualification of three pro-democracy candidates from the upcoming Legislative Council by-election on March 11.
Students from the group Democracy for Hong Kong (D4HK) gathered in Trafalgar Square on Sunday night for a screening a four-minute video about “the political suppression of pro-democracy activists starting from the Umbrella Movement in 2014.”
They also distributed leaflets explaining the situation in Hong Kong to passersby in order to raise international awareness and support.
Agnes Chow, Ventus Lau and James Chan were recently barred from running because of their political views. Chow was barred for her affiliation to a party which advocates self-determination – an idea slammed by Beijing as equal to Hong Kong independence. Lau and Chan were deemed to be independence advocates by an election officer, despite their denials.
In London, SOAS PhD student Eric Lai condemned “the heavy-handed response of Beijing to the demand for universal suffrage in Hong Kong.”
He criticised the “persecution of the democracy movement and stripping young activists of their political rights in breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Basic Law’s Bill of Rights,” D4HK cited Lai as saying on its Facebook page.
Lai, a former student leader and convener of the Civil Human Rights Front, said the world and UK government should pay more attention to the events in Hong Kong.
Warwick University student Jason Chao – a prominent democracy advocate from Macau – appealed to the global community to support the struggle in Macau and Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Watch Chairperson Benedict Rogers, who was refused entry to Hong Kong last year, also attended the protest.
He called on the UK government to monitor the situation as a signatory of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and safeguard human rights in Hong Kong.