See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Politics

Taiwan expresses regret over sentencing of H.K. democracy activists

The activists were sentenced to prison for organizing and participating in pro-democracy protests.


Written by

Updated: April 26, 2019

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) expressed regret yesterday after a court in Hong Kong handed down prison sentences of up to 16 months earlier that day on nine leaders of pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014.

In a statement, the MAC, Taiwan’s top China policy-making body, said that the court ruling proved China’s “one country, two systems” mechanism does not respect and guarantee people’s political rights.

It also called on the parties concerned to adhere to their commitment to the “one country, two systems” policy of governing Hong Kong and the promise to grant Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy as enshrined in the Basic Law.

That is the only way to observe the rule of law and maintain Hong Kong’s prosperous development, the MAC said.

A Hong Kong court handed down sentences around noon on nine leaders of the city’s “Occupy Central” protests that paralyzed parts of the former British colony for 79 days in late 2014 after they were convicted last month of public nuisance offenses.

Among the defendants, law professor Benny Tai, 54, retired sociologist Chan Kin-man, 60, and retired pastor Chu Yiu-ming, 75, were given 16 months, with Chu’s jail term suspended for two years.

Two others received eight month sentences and two were given suspended eight month sentences, while another was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

The other defendant, Tanya Chan, had her sentencing postponed to June 10 because she needs to undergo surgery.

Also Wednesday, representatives from over 20 Taiwanese non-governmental organizations expressed their support for the nine defendants during a press conference in front of Taiwan’s representative office in Hong Kong, stressing that caring about Hong Kong means caring for Taiwan.

Chiu E-ling, secretary-general of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, said that the Hong Kong government has incorporated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights into Hong Hong’s laws, while freedom of speech and assembly are protected by Article 27 of the Basic Law.

She said that by sentencing the nine activists to prison for peaceful assembly, the Hong Kong court is apparently in violation of the Basic Law and the international covenant, adding that the sentences demonstrate the undermining of judicial independence in Hong Kong.

Chiang Min-yen, a research fellow with the Economic Democracy Union, said the court decision shows that Hong Kong’s judiciary has succumbed to pressure from the Chinese government and that the “one country, two systems” formula can not be trusted.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Asia News Network
About the Author: Asia News Network is a regional media alliance comprising 24 media entities.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Politics

Trump urges passage of defense bill with provision against troop drawdown in S. Korea

Trump has previously asked Korea to pay its fair share to keep US troops on the peninsula. US President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged Congress to pass a defense bill containing a provision restricting the drawdown of American troops in South Korea. On Monday, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees agreed on the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, which authorizes funding for the Department of Defense. According to the accompanying conference report, the new bill restricts the use of funds for removing troops from South Korea, an issue that has drawn intense scrutiny amid contentious cost-sharing negotiations between Seoul and Washington.


By The Korea Herald
December 12, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Aung San Suu Kyi denies genocidal intent on Rohingya

She urges world court to let Myanmar justice system work. Denying that Myanmar had genocidal intent in its treatment of the Rohingya people, its de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday (Dec 11) urged the International Court of Justice in The Hague to let her country’s justice system run its course. “Can there be genocidal intent on the part of a state that actively investigates, prosecutes and punishes soldiers and officers who are accused of wrongdoing?” she asked at the world court, while presenting her opening statement on the second day of public hearings related to Gambia’s lawsuit alleging that Myanmar had breached the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Carefully avoiding the word “Rohingya”, Ms Suu Kyi said Gambia has given “an incomplete and misleading factual picture”. She referred in her half-


By The Straits Times
December 12, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Report: US officials lied about Afghanistan

Civilian, military officials misled public for nearly two decades about status of war, Washington Post review of documents finds. For nearly two decades, senior US civilian and military officials didn’t tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported on Monday after reviewing more than 2,000 pages of government documents. The officials made pronouncements they knew to be false and hid evidence that the war had become unwinnable, the newspaper said interviews with those officials show. John Sopko, the head of the federal agency that conducted the interviews, acknowledged to the Post that the documents show “the American people have constantly been lied to”. The newspaper said that two major claims in the documents are that US officials manipulated statistics to suggest to the American public that the war was being won and that successive


By China Daily
December 11, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Power transition after Apec summit

Mahathir open to stepping down after APEC summit. Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the world’s oldest prime minister, has promised to hand over power to anointed successor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in spite of new sexual assault allegations against him. Dr Mahathir, 94, said he would not hand over before a summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) countries that Malaysia is to host in November 2020, but could be ready after that. “I made a promise to hand over and I will, accepting that I thought that a change immediately before the Apec summit would be disruptive. “As far as I’m concerned, I’m stepping down and I’m handing the baton to him (Anwar). If people don’t want him, that is their business, but I will do my part of the promise… irrespective of whatever allegation. I made my promise, I keep my promise, ” he said in an interview w


By The Star
December 11, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Pompeo says US is hopeful N. Korea will refrain from nuclear, long-range missile tests

Both sides are hopeful of continued talks. The United States is hopeful North Korea will continue to refrain from nuclear tests and long-range missile tests, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday, after Pyongyang said it had conducted a “very important” test over the weekend. North Korea said the test occurred at its Dongchang-ri satellite launch site on Saturday, raising tensions ahead of a year-end deadline North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has imposed for the US to show flexibility in their negotiations on dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. “Chairman Kim personally made the commitment to denuclearize, said there wouldn’t be long-range missile tests, nuclear tests,” Pompeo said at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the State Department.


By The Korea Herald
December 11, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Arguments strong enough to convince judges: expert

Myanmar at The Hague for genocide. The arguments presented by the Gambia’s lawyers at the top UN court yesterday were extremely strong and should convince the judges to issue “provisional measures” against Myanmar to stop genocide against the Rohingyas, said a legal expert. If the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issues such an order, Myanmar will be under real pressure as it is a binding one, said the expert. “It was truly convincing the way the lawyers, who are very reputed in their fields, presented their arguments at the top UN court in the Hague,” Ahmed Ziauddin, a genocide researcher based in Brussels, told this correspondent yesterday. “They made it very clear that provisional measures were urgent to protect the Rohingyas, and such measures won’t affect Myanmar as a state.” The ICJ is not a criminal court that can issue an arrest order against any individual. But


By Daily Star
December 11, 2019