London-based NGO HK Watch Defends HK Freedoms
曾焯文報導 (Chapman Chen reports)
倫敦非政府組織「香港監察」由英國政壇猛人組成，將於十二月十一日，在英國議會下議院舉辦的招待會上正式成立，負責監察香港人權自由、一國兩制法治，在國際社會為港出聲。信託主席為英國保守黨人權委員會副主席羅澤思（Benedict Rogers）（近曾被拒訪港），贊助人包括英國前外相聶偉敬（Malcolm Rifkind）、上議院議員 David Alton、前自由民主黨領袖 Paddy Ashdown、前工黨影子外相 Catherine West、前南斯拉夫總統米洛舍维奇屠殺罪行案主控官 Geoffrey Nice等。「香港監察」網站www.hongkongwatch.org今日（十月三十日）稍後會直播。以下為「香港監察」新聞稿（曾焯文中譯）：
London-based NGO Hong Kong Watch, comprising important British politicians, will be launched at a reception hosted by the Speaker of the House of Commons in the UK Parliament on 11 December 2017. It aims at monitoring and advocating Hongkongers’ freedoms, human rights, and rule of law under the one country-two systems principle, and it is going to speak out for Hong Kong internationally. Its trustee Chair is Deputy Chair of Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, Benedict Rogers (who was denied entry to HK recently). And its patrons include Malcolm Rifkind QC, former Labour Shadow Foreign Minister Catherine West MP, former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Paddy Ashdown, independent cross-bencher Lord David Alton, and former prosecutor of Slobodan Milosevic, barrister Sir Geoffrey Nice QC. Its website, www.hongkongwatch.org , will go live later today (October 30). Below please find the Chinese version (translated by Chapman Chen) and English original of its press release.
前自由民主黨領袖 Paddy Ashdown 爵士道：「中國在世界勢力日增，責任亦日益重大，中國有責任履行對香港的承諾和義務。 近年，有跡象顯示一國兩制和香港的基本自由受到侵蝕，情況令人擔憂。 英國亦有責任，監察香港的生活方式，仗義執言。 中英聯合聲明正是兩國在聯合國簽署的聯合聲明。 香港監察正在成立，以監察研究、倡導捍衛香港自由自治，人權法治，並敦促中英雙方履行聯合聲明所規定的義務，所以我很慶幸能成為香港的守護人。」
御用大律師 Malcolm Rifkind爵士，九五至九七年期間曾任外相，今道：「英國國民及政府覺得有義務在未來廿五年甚至其後，幫助香港人維護自由法治，香港監察是為此而舉辦的精彩創舉。」
英國會議員、前工黨影子外相 Catherine West道：「我們諸島分享悠久歷史，藉貿易教育，政治文化，繼續發展，我們對香港人權的承諾，堅定不移，一如既往，這就是何以我非常榮幸成為香港監察贊助人。」
進一步資料可電郵Benedict Rogers查詢：[email protected]
Press Release: Hong Kong Watch to launch on 11 December 2017 – EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 GMT, October 31 2017
A new advocacy organization focused on Hong Kong will be launched at a reception hosted by the Speaker of the House of Commons in the UK Parliament on Monday, 11 December 2017.
The new organization, Hong Kong Watch, will be a London-based human rights organisation which will monitor human rights, freedoms and rule of law in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Watch has the support of eminent patrons Malcolm Rifkind QC, former Labour Shadow Foreign Minister Catherine West MP, former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Paddy Ashdown, independent cross-bencher Lord David Alton, and former prosecutor of Slobodan Milosevic, barrister Sir Geoffrey Nice QC.
More than ever there are concerns that the universal freedoms and democratic reforms, which the people of Hong Kong are entitled to under Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration, are under threat along with Hong Kong’s autonomy under the principle of ‘one country, two systems’.
Lord Paddy Ashdown, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats said: “As China’s power in the world grows, its responsibilities increase, and China has a responsibility to live up to its promises and obligations to Hong Kong. In recent years there are worrying signs that ‘one country, two systems’ and Hong Kong’s basic freedoms are being eroded. Britain has a responsibility to Hong Kong too, to monitor and speak out for Hong Kong’s way of life. The Sino-British Joint Declaration is precisely that – a joint declaration signed by both countries and lodged at the United Nations. Hong Kong Watch is being established to monitor, research and advocate in defence of Hong Kong’s freedoms, autonomy and rule of law and to urge both China and Britain to fulfil its obligations under the Joint Declaration, and that is why I am delighted to be a Patron of Hong Kong Watch.”
Hong Kong Watch will research the status of Hong Kong’s freedoms and raise concerns with the United Kingdom government and the wider international community should violations of the rights and freedoms enshrined in Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration take place.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind QC, who served as Foreign Secretary between 1995 and 1997, said: “The people and government of the United Kingdom feel an obligation to the people of Hong Kong to help ensure that they enjoy their freedom and the rule of law for the next 25 years and beyond. Hong Kong Watch is a splendid initiative towards that end.”
The organisation will provide independent, comprehensive analysis and thought leadership on freedom and human rights in Hong Kong. Using in-depth research, Hong Kong Watch will regularly update parliamentarians, government officials and the media in the UK and around the world.
Catherine West MP, Labour Member of Parliament, former Shadow Foreign Minister and Deputy Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on China said: “Our islands share a deep history that is continuing to grow through trade, education, politics and culture and our commitment to Hong Kongers’ rights must remain as steadfast as ever, which is why I am honoured to become a Patron of Hong Kong Watch.”
This announcement of Hong Kong Watch’s launch comes only three weeks after Benedict Rogers, Chairman of Trustees at Hong Kong Watch, was denied entry into Hong Kong. Mr Rogers had been entering Hong Kong on a private visit, and has yet to receive an explanation about why he was denied entry. Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, has said that the Chinese government were responsible for the decision, as Mr Rogers’ entry was a matter of ‘foreign policy’. In response to Mr Rogers being denied entry, UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, raised concerns about this with the Chinese government, and said that “Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, and its rights and freedoms, are central to its way of life and should be fully respected.”
Chairman of the Trustees at Hong Kong Watch, Benedict Rogers, says: “We believe that an international NGO to monitor and report on the worsening situation in Hong Kong is much-needed and long overdue. Based in London, our aim is to be international, a voice in the United Kingdom and other capitals around the world.”
His sentiments were echoed by Lord Alton, an independent crossbench peer and leading voice for human rights, who said:
“Twenty years after the handover of Hong Kong to China, it is clear that Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy are threatened. Britain has specific moral and legal responsibilities to Hong Kong. The launch of Hong Kong Watch, an organization that will conduct independent, critical, constructive and responsible research and advocacy to uphold, defend and strengthen Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy, as promised to Hong Kong under the Basic Law, the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the concept of ‘one country, two systems’, is very welcome, timely and much needed. I am delighted to be a Patron of Hong Kong Watch, having first visited Hong Kong as a young Member of Parliament representing the city of Liverpool with its vibrant connections to Hong Kong, and having met in recent months some of the brave young campaigners for democracy in Hong Kong, Joshua Wong and Nathan Law. I look forward to supporting Hong Kong Watch as a Patron, in order to defend and strengthen the basic freedoms which Hong Kong people have been promised and deserve.”
For further information please contact Benedict Rogers on e-mail [email protected]