1,000 signatures reached
To: Minister Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Impose sanctions on the government officials in Hong Kong and China in violation of human rights
Impose sanctions on government officials in Hong Kong and China who are complicit in gross violations of Hong Kong citizens’ human rights in accordance with the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act.
Why is this important?
The streets of Hong Kong are unrecognizable. Tear gas, police batons, pepper spray, intimidation and torture -- these are only some of the brutalities faced by Hong Kong citizens marching in defiance of one of the world’s most powerful dictatorships.
In the past few months, I have watched this beautiful city in which I was born and raised, once free and vibrant, -- suffer under the iron grip of China’s continued and increasing encroachment onto Hong Kong’s autonomy.
Since the 80s, the Chinese Communist Party has continued to steadily chip away at Hongkongers’ rights and freedoms, and Hong Kong citizens were pushed over the edge when an extradition amendment bill was proposed that would allow the extradition of anyone who is in Hong Kong to China, to be tried under the Chinese judiciary system instead. Their ‘judiciary system’ has a 99% conviction rate, and is infamous for torture, trumped up charges and forced confessions.
If passed, this law would effectively end Hong Kong as we know it. And it’s why 2 million people took to the streets in protest. Hong Kong citizens are fighting for the same democratic freedoms that we have here in Canada. They are fighting to protect their civil liberties that we currently hold: the rights to vote, to gather in protest, and to speak out against injustice.
But we’re not set apart from the fight on the front lines in Hong Kong. Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are two Canadians currently being tortured, and detained with bogus charges in China. The protestors in Hong Kong facing police brutality are directly opposing the expansion of tyranny - not just for themselves, but for Kovrig and Spavor too. Their fight should be our fight. Their cause should be our cause.
As Canadians, we have the power to speak up - not just for democracy or in defence of human rights - but for the 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong, the many Canadians who have business or family ties to Hong Kong, and the millions of Hong Kong-born Canadians living across this country we call true, north, strong and free. Let us uphold those values and not turn a blind eye.
Sign the petition now to urge Minister Chrystia Freeland to impose sanctions on HK and Beijing government officials who have severely violated our human rights laws.
--- more info below---
This encroachment on Hong Kong is a direct violation of the “one country, two systems” agreement established in the 80s -- when the Chinese Communist Party agreed to a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong. They promised Hong Kong citizens their own legal, social and financial systems until 2047, including universal suffrage for all citizens.
I knew this promise was hollow even back then, so I left Hong Kong to ensure my own safety and freedom. And to my dismay, I was right: in 1989, the brutal massacre in Tiananmen Square saw the murder of thousands of peaceful protesters. This terrible blight on our history spurred a massive wave of immigration of horrified and disillusioned Hongkongers to Canada.
Today, while I fear for Hong Kong citizens’ safety -- I feel incredibly proud as I stand in spirit with the millions of Hongkongers who are undeterred as they march for democracy and freedom.
And there is something we can do: the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) allows Canada to sanction, impose travel bans and hold accountable foreign nationals who are responsible for gross human rights violations and significant corruption. This law exists specifically for situations such as these - to hold rogue foreign government officials to account.
Please join me in calling on our government to apply sanctions to those government officials and entrepreneurs, in both Hong Kong and China, who have participated in or are complicit in violating Hong Kong citizens’ human rights with our Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act.
*** UPDATE ***
On Sept. 4th, after months of protests and increasing international pressure, HK’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that she would withdraw the Extradition Amendment Bill - but refused to establish an independent public inquiry to investigate police brutality. This is not enough. We must sanction the government officials who condoned gross human rights violations in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong and Beijing government officials have allowed the police brutality on the streets of Hong Kong: There is horrific video evidence of officers entering train cabins at busy subway stations and attacking passengers with tear gas and batons. There are rumours of torture and sexual assaults of protesters in Hong Kong’s detention centres.
Sign the petition to sanction the government officials implicit in these horrors.