Human rights advocates call on Canada to intervene after Denise Ho arrested in Hong Kong

Human rights advocates are calling on Canada to intervene and supply diplomatic assist to Cantopop big name and Canadian citizen Denise Ho, who was once arrested Wednesday alongside six journalists in Hong Kong.

Former federal justice minister and well known human rights lawyer Irwin Cotler says Canada has a duty to take a stand because the leader of the Assertion Towards Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations earlier this yr, and as one in all the founding international locations of the Media Freedom Coalition. 

“What we’re seeing is a frontal attack not just on media freedom, not just at the protection and safety of reporters, not just on the democracy motion — however on democracy itself in Hong Kong,” Cotler stated.

“The Canadian govt has specific responsibilities right here, with the exception of the responsibilities of the neighborhood of democracies.”

Hong Kong professional-democracy news web site closes after raid, arrestsHong Kong police arrest 6 reporters amid crackdown on dissent under national security legislation

Cotler met Ho on the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy in 2020.

“She impressed me and has been a brave voice for the advertising and protection of human rights and democracy,” he said. 

Recommend for LGBTQ rights, pro-democracy motion

Ho, like Cotler, is a Montrealer. She used to be born in Hong Kong, but raised in Brossard, at the South Shore. After high school, she attended CEGEP in Montreal sooner than moving back to Hong Kong. 

As a pop superstar and musician, she was considered one of the first native celebrities to come out as gay in 2012 on the Hong Kong Delight Parade, and has advocated for LGBTQ rights due to the fact that, as well as to her involvement with the town’s pro-democracy motion for which she was once also arrested in 2014. 

Why this Hong Kong pop megastar confronted China in front of the UN Human Rights CouncilHow Denise Ho went from Cantopop queen to professional-democracy activist

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly tweeted Wednesday that Canadian consular officers “are engaged and stand able to provide assistance at the ground” and that International Affairs is monitoring the location.

“Canada will all the time get up to give a boost to democracy and freedom of the clicking. we’re deeply involved by means of the arrests in Hong Kong of current and former board and workforce members from Stand News, together with Canadian citizen and activist Denise Ho,” Joly wrote.

Human rights advocates call on Canada to intervene after Denise Ho arrested in Hong Kong

Denise Ho, a singer and professional-democracy activist, speaks all the way through a Congressional-Government Commission on China hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 17, 2019. Ho was once among seven other folks arrested Wednesday in Hong Kong. (Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Photographs)

At a 2019 protest in Hong Kong, Ho said rising up in Montreal helped her wish to talk out for fundamental rights. 

“For me, Canada is some other house. So what i have learned there, i’m making use of it here in Hong Kong,” she said. 

Ho’s arrest shocks supporters

the news of Ho’s arrest got here as a surprise to individuals of the gang Hongkongers at McGill, a professional-democracy student crew on the Montreal college. 

A founding member, whose id CBC News is protecting because she fears reprisals for speaking publicly in favour of activism in Hong Kong, said Ho were an idea for the gang’s creation. 

“It was terrifying for our group,” the member mentioned. “We Are all worried that sooner or later it will be one among us or one in every of our pals in Hong Kong that shall be arrested once they arrest all of the large well-known so-called activists. It displays China’s determination to censorship and how it additionally impacts Canadians.”

the coed additionally stated several of her workforce’s participants identified as LGBTQ, which made Ho’s outspokenness all the extra important to them. 

“something that she in point of fact confirmed us is that we’d never be free without democracy and if we want LGBTQ rights or different varieties of rights, we actually should proceed to struggle for democracy in Hong Kong,” she said.

Human rights advocates call on Canada to intervene after Denise Ho arrested in Hong Kong

Hong Kong-based totally artist and LGBTQ rights suggest Ho on degree on the Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway Might 27, 2019. (NTB Scanpix/Ryan Kelly by the use of Reuters)

Ho used to be arrested after Hong Kong national security police raided the place of business of online pro-democracy media outlet Stand News. She is a former member of the news organization’s board of administrators. 

In a press release, police stated the other Stand Information journalists and senior body of workers participants had been arrested for “conspiracy to post seditious publications.”

what’s going to occur to press freedom in Hong Kong?

The arrests come as authorities crack down on dissent within the semi-autonomous region. Hong Kong police in the past raided the workplaces of the now-defunct Apple Day-To-Day newspaper, seizing boxes of materials and pc hard drives to help of their research and freezing thousands and thousands in belongings that later forced the newspaper to stop operations.

Police charged the Apple Daily’s writer Jimmy Lai, who’s already jailed on different charges, with sedition on Tuesday.

“we are now not focused on newshounds, we aren’t focused on the media, we simply targeted national security offences,” mentioned Li Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of the Police Nationwide Safety Division. 

Human rights advocates call on Canada to intervene after Denise Ho arrested in Hong Kong

Editor of Stand News Patrick Lam, 2d from left, is arrested by law enforcement officials in Hong Kong Wednesday. (Vincent Yu/The Related Press)

The member of Hongkongers at McGill stated Stand Information and Apple Daily have been some of the only native independent information firms left in Hong Kong. 

She questioned what might happen to international journalists in the city — and press freedom there overall. 

“that is the very reason we should and we now have to continue doing what we are doing, because if not there would be nobody to struggle for our rights,” she stated.

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