Sign the petition: Stand with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong
For the last month, tens of thousands of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have taken to the streets to peacefully protest threats to their democracy by the Chinese government.
But in a drastic and unjustified response, authorities in Hong Kong have attempted to quash the protests, resorting to harsh tactics including tear gas, pepper spray, and unwarranted arrests. What’s more, there have been reports of violent counter-demonstrators sexually assaulting women and girls while police stood by and did nothing to protect them.1
These attacks against peaceful protesters can not stand any longer. We must stand with pro-democracy demonstrators and pressure the authorities in Hong Kong to protect citizens’ safety and their right to protest peacefully.
Sign the petition to stand in solidarity with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
As Amnesty International has asserted, under international law, demonstrators have a fundamental right to peacefully protest. The United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms assures that law enforcement shall “apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force,” and when that is not possible, “[e]xercise restraint in such use and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offence and the legitimate objective to be achieved.” Yet, authorities continue to resort to severe crowd-control tactics by unleashing a barrage of tear gas and pepper spray on innocent and non-violent demonstrators.2
Most frighteningly, protesters have endured attacks by dangerous and violent counter-demonstrators with ties to the so-called “triad,” an underground Chinese organized crime ring. Students have been beaten and bloodied by gang members, and women and girls have been sexually assaulted while police have done nothing to stop the assaults. Some believe the Chinese authorities themselves sent in these violent thugs to quell the protests.3
It’s time that these inhumane violations of international law immediately stop. Join us and show your support for peaceful protesters and urge authorities in Hong Kong to protect their safety and right to organize.
The time is now for a strong statement of solidarity with peaceful protesters in Hong Kong. President Obama will travel to China in November for the annual Asia Pacific Cooperation meeting. The U.S. will be more emboldened to take a stand on behalf of the pro-democracy activists if there is a strong show of solidarity from the American people. There will be intense pressure from Chinese authorities to avoid a conversation about the Hong Kong protests, but we cannot let this opportunity pass to make a strong statement about our commitment to human rights and democracy.
Sign the petition and stand in solidarity with demonstrators in Hong Kong and pressure the authorities to adhere to fundamental protections guaranteed under international law.
Thank you for all you do.
"Hong Kong: Women and girls attacked as police fail to protect peaceful protesters", Amnesty International, October 3, 2014
"Human Rights Watch Letter to Chief Executive Leung on Hong Kong Protests", Human Rights Watch, October 5, 2014
"Hong Kong Government Accused of Using Triads to Attack Student Protesters", Time, October 4, 2014