CNA Staff, Jun 3, 2020 / 09:30 am America/Denver (CNA).
A bishop has urged the U.K. Government to defend “fundamental freedoms” in Hong Kong after the Chinese parliament approved a controversial security law for the city.
According to a June 1 press release, Bishop Declan Lang challenged the U.K. to fulfill its responsibilities to Hong Kong under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which led to the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of British rule.
In a letter to the U.K.’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, Bishop Lang said: “Like so many others in the Catholic community I am deeply concerned by the continuing erosion of autonomy, suppression of political freedoms, and violent response to peaceful protests taking place in breach of this treaty.”
“The U.K. has a clear legal, moral and historical duty to safeguard fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong. Failure to do so at this critical time will not only have devastating consequences for more than seven million people living there but is also likely to have dangerous repercussions for human rights and international law more broadly.”
Lang, who is chairman of the Department of International Affairs of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said the U.K. should stand in solidarity with Hong Kong’s citizens, “using all available diplomatic means to protect them from the serious violations of their human dignity that we are now witnessing.”