Press releases

Media releases relating to the APPG's work and inquiry will be published on this page.

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t: +44 (0)20 3855 5760

Chris Whitehouse, Whitehouse Communications

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For Immediate release

22/09/2021

 

MPs and peers to investigate if British banks contributed to political repression in Hong Kong  

 

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hong Kong has announced that it is launching an inquiry into the actions of British banks operating in Hong Kong.  

The inquiry seeks to establish whether British banks have contributed to suppression in Hong Kong, including of the human rights to freedom of expression, movement, assembly and association, and property. It will also invite evidence on whether British banks have acted in line with their duties to protect human rights and if the actions of British banks create any risk to the UK. 

Following the imposition of the draconian National Security Law on Hong Kong by the Chinese government last year, a number of banks have been accused of supporting the government’s political crackdown. HSBC’s CEO Noel Quinn was called before the Foreign Affairs Committee to answer questions on the bank’s role in freezing the accounts of pro-democracy activists targeted by the Hong Kong Police Force. 

The National Security Law is archaic, broad legislation being used to intimidate and repress political activism in the city. Several Hong Kong activists have complained of British banks freezing their assets, and there have also been reports that Hongkongers fleeing to the UK under the British National (Overseas) visa scheme have been unable to access their pensions savings with British banks.  

Submissions for evidence to this inquiry will close at 11:59pm on 31st October 2021. More information about the APPG’s work and the inquiry can be found online here: https://www.hkinquiry.org/  

Alistair Carmichael MP and Green Party Peer Natalie Bennett, co-chairs of the APPG on Hong Kong, said: 

“For a long time, Hong Kong has been an extremely lucrative city for banks looking to expand their business interests in Asia. The Chinese Communist Party’s increasingly authoritarian hold on Hong Kong, however, is starting to muddy the waters.  

“These banks benefit from the UK government’s commitment to the rule of law and respect for human rights, and as such these are principles they should be expected to uphold when conducting their business abroad.  

“This inquiry will aim to establish whether UK banks are affording Hongkongers the rights and dignity they deserve, and shed new light on the responsibilities of such businesses operating in foreign jurisdictions.” 

 

Ends

For further information:

Chris Whitehouse, Chairman of Whitehouse Communications

chris.whitehouse@whitehousecomms.com

Telephone: +44 (0)20 3855 5760

Mobile: +44 (0)7429 463 384

About the APPG on Hong Kong  
The APPG on Hong Kong was inaugurated on 5th November 2019. Its aim is to promote democracy and the rule of law, defend human rights in Hong Kong, share information about Hong Kong and to nurture relations between the United Kingdom and the people of Hong Kong. 

Submissions for evidence to the APPG’s inquiry into British banks operating in Hong Kong will close at 11:59pm on 31st October 2021. 

About “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.

We are a completely independent, grassroots, crowdfunded advocacy group consisting of individuals who have come together to fight for freedom and democracy for Hong Kong. Our members come from all walks of life and are united with a shared vision. 

Since the Handover, we have witnessed China's sustained violation of Hongkongers’ autonomy, freedoms, human rights, and rule of law. China's conduct has been in breach of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration — a legally binding treaty — which also forms the basis of the 1992 US Hong Kong Policy Act. Defined by the Hongkongese resilient spirit, we seek to mobilise the international community to stand with us in our fight for freedom. 

 

For Immediate release

05/04/2020

 

Deadline Extended for Parliamentary Inquiry into Alleged Human Rights Abuses in Hong Kong

 

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hong Kong has extended the submissions deadline for their inquiry into human rights abuses enacted against medical workers and humanitarian symbols across Hong Kong, due to coronavirus implications. Having launched this inquiry on the 10th March, the Group has set a new deadline for evidence submissions of the 20th April.

 

The Group says that they have received "many requests" to extend the deadline so that ordinary Hongkongers can collate their evidence of abuse sufficiently despite the tragic coronavirus pandemic impacting every aspect of life around the world.

 

Speaking as Secretary to the APPG, Chris Whitehouse says:

 

“This deadline extension coming as it does after we’ve already received over 300 submissions, shows that the Group is listening to these requests and sends a clear message: this inquiry will not be stopped or be paused because of the pandemic. For the APPG on Hong Kong, it's business as usual. Our focus on championing international human rights laws will not be lost.”

 

The finding of the inquiry will be shared with the UK government as evidence as to whether the actions of the Hong Kong Police Force in relation to providers of 
a. humanitarian aid and 
b. equipment associated with the provision of such aid, 
have breached international human rights law.

 

The APPG on Hong Kong is asking for anyone with evidence in relation to the above requirements to please submit such information via the inquiry’s website, accessible here. The new deadline to submit evidence is 20th April. The APPG will then invite individuals and organisations to present their oral evidence in person or digitally. Both evidence sessions will inform a final report outlining their findings and subsequent advice for the UK government.

 

The Baroness Bennett, co-chair of the APPG on Hong Kong, previously said at the launch of the inquiry: “more needs to be done to protect Hongkongers, professionals who care for the injured, as well as the 33,733 UK nationals currently resident in the city. Many disturbing reports have emerged in personal accounts, through social and conventional media, and there is global concern both about what is happening to Hong Kong and the damage done to international norms and standards. This inquiry will produce a report that aims to be a resource for informing the actions of the UK and other governments, international rights bodies and campaigners”.

 

The inquiry is welcomed by many campaigners, including ‘Stand with Hong Kong’s spokesperson, Johnny Song, says: “Throughout the protests, including during the current coronavirus outbreak, medical workers (many of whom are volunteers) have risked their lives life and limb to provide life-saving and humanitarian aid services for Hongkongers. This inquiry marks an important shift in Westminster’s the British government’s approach to addressing human rights abuses in Hong Kong and to defending the city’s rights and freedoms that are guaranteed under the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration. We hope that the British government will take the inquiry’s findings seriously and hold perpetrators of human rights abuses accountable”.

 

The APPG on Hong Kong is Chaired by Alistair Carmichael MP and Co-Chaired by The Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle. Its vice chairs include The Lord Alton of Liverpool, Steve Double MP, Geraint Davies MP and Dame Cheryl Gillan MP. More information on the APPG can be found here.

 

Ends

For further information:

t: +44 (0)20 7463 0690

Chris Whitehouse, Chairman of The Whitehouse Consultancy Ltd.

chris.whitehouse@whitehouseconsulting.co.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7463 0692

Mobile: +44 (0)7429 463 384

 

Editor’s Notes

About the APPG on Hong Kong

The APPG on Hong Kong was inaugurated on 5th November 2019. Its aim is to promote democracy and the rule of law, defend human rights in Hong Kong, share information about Hong Kong and to nurture relations between the United Kingdom and the people of Hong Kong.

 

About “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

We are a group of ordinary Hongkongers who care deeply about our city. We come from all walks of life and range widely in age and profession. Some of us are in Hong Kong while others are overseas. Despite not having met each other in person, we are united by our love for our city.

 

In the last 22 years, we have witnessed China’s repeated breaches of the Declaration and the deterioration of our human rights, freedoms and rule of law. We are actively mobilising the international community to support Hongkongers' fight for freedom. https://standwithhk.org/about/

  

Embargoed 10th March


New Parliamentary Inquiry Launched into Alleged Human Rights Abuses in Hong Kong

 

Alleged human rights abuses enacted against medical workers and humanitarian symbols across Hong Kong are being investigated by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hong Kong. The Group will launch the first parliamentary inquiry into such abuses and is calling for evidence on Tuesday, 10th March.

 

The finding of the inquiry will be shared with government as evidence as to whether the actions of the Hong Kong Police Force in relation to providers of a. humanitarian aid and b. equipment associated with the provision of such aid, have breached international human rights law.

 

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong is asking for anyone with evidence in relation to the above to please submit such information via the inquiry’s website accessible here. The deadline to submit evidence is 7th April. The APPG will then invite individuals and organisations to present their evidence in person. Both evidence sessions will inform a final report outlining their findings and subsequent advice for the government.

 

Baroness Bennett, co-chair of the APPG on Hong Kong, said at the launch, “more needs to be done to protect Hongkongers, professionals who care for the injured, as well as the 33,733 UK nationals currently resident in the city. Many disturbing reports have emerged in personal accounts, through social and conventional media, and there is global concern both about what is happening to Hong Kong and the damage done to international norms and standards. This inquiry will produce a report that aims to be a resource for informing the actions of the UK and other governments, international rights bodies and campaigners”.

The APPG on Hong Kong is chaired by Alistair Carmichael MP, its Co-Chair is Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, and its vice chairs include Lord Alton of Liverpool, Steve Double MP, Geraint Davies MP and Dame Cheryl Gillan MP. More information on the APPG can be found here.

 

Ends

Editor’s Notes

About the APPG on Hong Kong

The APPG on Hong Kong was inaugurated on 5th November 2019. Its aim is to promote democracy and the rule of law, defend human rights in Hong Kong, share information about Hong Kong and to nurture relations between the United Kingdom and the people of Hong Kong.

英國國會跨黨派香港小組就自香港人權受打壓狀況展開調查

英國國會跨黨派香港小組(小組)正在研究香港人權及人道原則遭受香港警察打壓的狀況,尤其是醫護人員方面。小組正在展開首次國會調查,並呼籲各方人士提供證據。

 

是次調查將針對香港警察對「人道支援人員」及「提供支援工作相關器材的人員」所作的行動是否已違反國際人權法例。調查結果會分享予英國政府以作證據。

英國國會跨黨派香港小組現正呼籲各界人士若有證據,請在4月7日前到是次調查官方網站提交證據。及後小組將會邀請個別人士和組織赴英親身作供。小組最後將會集合收到的證供撰寫報告,向英國政府闡述調查結果並作出建議。

小組聯席主席 Natalie Bennett 女男爵表示:「英國需要作出更多行動去保護香港人以及三萬多名居港英國公民。社交媒體及傳統媒體的個人戶口傳來多項令人不安的報道,而國際社會亦關注香港發生的事及普世標準所受的傷害。這份調查結果將被整緝成報告,以向英國及其他政府、國際人權組織及行動者提供其行動所需的資料。」

英國國會跨黨派香港小組主席由下議院議員Alistair Carmichael擔任,副主席包括上議院議員 Lord Alton of Liverpool、下議院議員 Geraint Davies 和 Dame Cheryl Gillan。更多關於英國國會跨黨派香港小組的資訊,請按這裡。

關於英國國會跨黨派香港小組

英國國會跨黨派香港小組於2019年11月5日成立。成立目的旨在推進香港的民主和法治,和捍衛香港的人權,就香港時局交流相關資訊,以及拓展英國與香港兩地民眾的關係。