More than 60 British lawmakers and peers have written to British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab, calling on him to demand the return of 12 Hong Kong advocates detained in China after attempting to flee to Taiwan by boat.
In a letter delivered to the foreign secretary on Thursday night, the lawmakers warned of a profound chilling effect should Chinese authorities be allowed to “prosecute and imprison Hong Kong activists in the mainland with little outcry or response from the international community.”
On Aug. 23, Chinese authorities intercepted a speedboat off the coast of Hong Kong, carrying 12 young people aged 16 to 30 allegedly attempting to seek asylum in Taiwan. Almost all of the passengers were facing charges in Hong Kong relating to last year’s protest movement.
Among the group was Andy Li (李宇軒), a young activist who had previously been arrested under Beijing’s National Security Law on suspicion of foreign collusion.
Late last month, Chinese authorities formally approved the arrest of the group for allegedly illegally crossing China’s borders.
Families and lawyers for the detained have said that authorities have denied the group access to legal assistance, contact with the outside world and in some cases medication for medical conditions.
The letter to Raab said: “In view of this, we ask that you call on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) and your counterpart in Beijing to immediately ensure the return of the 12 activists to Hong Kong, to guarantee that they have legal representation of their choosing, contact with their families and to ensure the young people access to necessary prescribed medication.”
“This is a simple matter of natural justice,” it added.
The letter said that allowing China to detain and hold Hong Kongers without international pushback would give Beijing a signal that it could use the national security legislation — which broadly outlines crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign collusion, but includes even benign acts of dissent — to extradite other advocates.
14 GRIEVANCES: Australia’s values, democracy and sovereignty ‘are not up for trade,’ the prime minister said, after Beijing accused Canberra of poisoning bilateral relations Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would not compromise national security and sovereignty, as Beijing ramped up its criticism of his government and warned it against making China an enemy. “Australia will always be ourselves,” Morrison said in a television interview yesterday with the Nine Network. “We will always set our own laws and our own rules according to our national interests — not at the behest of any other nation, whether that’s the US or China or anyone else.” A Chinese diplomat in Canberra gave a document to Australian media outlets outlining 14 grievances and accusing Canberra of “poisoning bilateral
For thousands of years, the dainty Fritillaria delavayi has grown slowly on the rocky slopes of the Hengduan mountains in China, producing a bright green flower after its fifth year. The conspicuous small plant has one deadly enemy: people, who harvest the flower for traditional Chinese medicine. As commercial harvesting has intensified, Fritillaria delavayi has vanished — by rapidly evolving to produce gray and brown leaves and flowers that cannot be so easily seen by pickers. Scientists have discovered that the color of the plant’s leaves has become more camouflaged — matching the background rocks on which they grow — in areas where
On the morning of Oct. 23, a 56-year-old employee at West Japan Railway was inspecting trains when he encountered an Asian black bear just outside Tsuruga Station in Japan’s northwestern Fukui Prefecture. He escaped with just a scratch, but about 10 minutes later, the same bear fractured the leg of a worker at a nearby construction site. Four days before the incident, a male bear entered a four-story shopping center in neighboring Ishikawa Prefecture. The 1.3m-tall bear holed up in a storage room for 13 hours, until it was shot by a local hunting group. Between April and September, wild bears were spotted 13,670
‘OCEAN OF STORMS’: The Chang’e 5 seeks to collect about 5kg of samples from a previously unvisited area in a massive lava plain, known as Oceanus Procellarum China plans to launch an uncrewed spacecraft to the moon this week to bring back lunar rocks in the first attempt by any nation to retrieve samples from Earth’s natural satellite since the 1970s. The Chang’e 5 probe, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, would seek to collect material that could help scientists understand the moon’s origins and formation. The mission would test China’s ability to remotely acquire samples from space, ahead of more complex missions. If successful, the mission will make China only the third country to have retrieved lunar samples, following the US and the Soviet Union decades