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Chair Cardin Stands with Pro-Democracy Activists Targeted by Hong Kong Government

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the Hong Kong government’s issuance of five arrest warrants against pro-democracy activists based overseas. The group includes Joey Siu, a U.S. citizen who works at the U.S.-based National Democratic Institute (NDI). This announcement raises the number of overseas pro-democracy activists targeted for arrest by the Hong Kong government to thirteen, as part of an ongoing crackdown on dissents and democracy under the People’s Republic of China (PRC)-imposed national security law. The arrests also coincide with the beginning of the trial of the pro-democracy Jimmy Lai, who founded the now shut down independent Hong Kong newspaper, Apple Daily.

“I am deeply concerned by ongoing efforts by the PRC and Hong Kong governments to target persons whose only ‘crime’ appears to be supporting the rights of the people of Hong Kong to have their voices heard by their own government. The recent issuance of five arrest warrants by the Hong Kong government against overseas pro-democracy activists, including Joey Siu, a U.S. citizen, and staff member of the U.S.-based National Democratic Institute, is just the latest example of the PRC’s use of transnational repression to harass and threaten anyone who seeks to question its authoritarian grip on power. I am also deeply troubled that this development comes just days before Jimmy Lai’s politically motivated trial is set to begin. I once again call for his immediate and unconditional release.”

“The United States stands firmly with these brave pro-democracy activists as well as others in Hong Kong, the PRC, and around the globe working to advance democracy and support the right of people everywhere to have a say in their own government, often at great risk to their own personal safety.”