Sullivan, Merkley Press for Sanctions of Hong Kong Judiciary
WASHINGTON—This week, U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), a member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) and the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), co-chair of the CECC, introduced the Hong Kong Judicial Sanctions Act, which would hold officials of Hong Kong’s judiciary accountable for human rights violations and support Hong Kongers facing persecution under Beijing’s “national security law.”
The Hong Kong Judicial Sanctions Act requires the President to determine whether certain Hong Kong officials violated human rights and whether sanctions should be imposed in accordance with the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, or the Hong Kong Autonomy Act.
Representatives Young Kim (Calif.-40), Jim McGovern (Mass.-02), and John Curtis (Utah-03) introduced companion legislation in the House.
“We all know Hong Kong’s judiciary isn’t the source of pride and independence it used to be,”said Senator Dan Sullivan. “Since the 2019 - 2020 crackdown, the judiciary in Hong Kong has become an instrument of the CCP to target innocent civilians. My colleagues and I are introducing legislation to focus the Biden administration’s attention on this insidious aspect of the CCP’s takeover of Hong Kong and the regime’s flagrant violation of the civil rights and autonomy promised to Hong Kongers in the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The Biden administration must let Beijing and their CCP lackeys in Hong Kong know that we are not fooled for a second.”
“As Chinese and Hong Kong officials continue to undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy, freedoms, and the human rights of its people, the U.S. must continue to send a clear message to the Chinese government that we will not tolerate this,” said Senator Jeff Merkley. “We will continue to speak and act in defense of the Hong Kong people against the oppression of an authoritarian system. That includes imposing sanctions against PRC and Hong Kong officials for their brazen disregard of their commitments to the people of Hong Kong as well as their obligations under treaties."
“I am pleased to join with my colleagues to shine a light on those responsible for the deterioration of freedom in Hong Kong and the persecution of pro-democracy activists. The United States has laws to sanction bad actors and we ask the Administration to review Hong Kong’s judicial system officials to see if they meet the criteria,” said Congressman John Curtis.
“Jimmy Lai’s case is unfortunately just the latest example of Beijing exploiting its ‘national security law’ to exert control of Hong Kongers,” said Congresswoman Young Kim, who serves as Chairwoman of the Indo-Pacific Subcommittee. “I am proud to lead the Hong Kong Sanctions Act so the United States can take strong, decisive action to support the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong and hold officials accountable in violation of human rights.”
“The national security law imposed by the People’s Republic of China in 2020 delivered a body blow to human rights and democracy in Hong Kong,”?said Congressman Jim McGovern.?“U.S. law already authorizes sanctions on the officials responsible for enforcing that unjust law. Our bill simply asks the administration to explain whether certain officials meet the criteria for sanctions in light of their alleged actions that violate the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. America must stand with Hong Kong’s brave activists who are being repressed for defending human rights and democracy.”
The full text of the bill is available here.
# # #
Next Article Previous Article