Hong Kong Law & Crime Politics & Protest

Video: Hong Kong democracy activists stage solidarity protest at Russian consulate; urge release of Pussy Riot

Hong Kong democracy activists protested outside the Russian Consulate General on Thursday to support the feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot, whose members were jailed for disrupting last week’s World Cup final.

Around 20 activists from the League of Social Democrats and Demosisto gathered at the consulate in Wan Chai, shouting “free Pussy Riot” and “free all political prisoners.” The rally was led by activist Joshua Wong, “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung and Avery Ng.

“We’re here to support Pussy Riot because the human rights situation in Russia is very troubling. You may think there are elections, but [President Vladimir] Putin has been in power for over ten years and it’s clearly a one-man dictatorship,” said Demosisto’s Ivan Lam.

Four members of Pussy Riot were arrested and sentenced to 15 days in prison on Tuesday. The group claimed its members ran onto the football pitch during the World Cup final to protest Putin’s authoritarian regime. In 2012, three Pussy Riot members were jailed for performing an anti-Putin song in a Moscow cathedral.

pussy riot russia protest

Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

Activists said they were protesting in solidarity with Pussy Riot because the group had previously expressed support for the Umbrella Movement and the “13+3” jailed Hong Kong activists.

Leung Kwok-hung called Pussy Riot “friends of Hong Kong” and “friends of Hong Kong’s protest movement.”

“Pussy Riot supported Hong Kong’s democratisation… Even an activist group in Russia will try their best to show international solidarity against authoritarian suppression and human rights crackdown. That’s why today we protest, to let them know they’re not alone,” Joshua Wong told HKFP.

pussy riot russia protest

Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

Speakers also linked their rally to the potential ban on the Hong Kong National Party, which they said represented a threat to the freedom of association. HKNP Convenor Andy Chan said on Tuesday the Secretary for Security was considering a ban “in the interests of national safety.”

Joshua Wong said that the government’s intervention may extend to other pro-democracy parties, including his own.

pussy riot russia protest

Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

“Freedom of association is under threat after the NPCSC interpretation of the Basic Law,” Joshua Wong said. “Perhaps, in the future, Demosisto might be the next target for the government to issue a similar arrangement.”

Additional reporting: Catherine Lai.

Video: Hong Kong democracy activists stage solidarity protest at Russian consulate; urge release of Pussy Riot