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Chair Cardin Statement on Verdict Announcements in the Hong Kong 47 Case

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued a statement on the Hong Kong government’s conviction on unfounded charges of "subversion" of the “Hong Kong 47:”

“The guilty verdicts from the Hong Kong judiciary, acting at the behest of Beijing, for 14 pro-democracy advocates who pled not guilty to politically-motivated charges of 'subversion' are a gross miscarriage of justice. I am deeply concerned that these individuals, along with the 31 other activists who pled guilty to the same unfounded accusations, are facing draconian prison sentences for doing nothing more than fielding candidates in a primary election for Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. 

"These prosecutions have lacked due process from the start, demonstrating that the rule of law is no longer one of the hallmarks of autonomous Hong Kong. The verdicts, along with the first arrests of individuals on Tuesday under the recently enacted legislation implementing Article 23 of the Basic Law, further demonstrate that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has eliminated Hong Kong’s autonomy and violated the commitments made in the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

“The Hong Kong government should immediately release these and all other individuals arrested or imprisoned on meritless charges under the National Security Law and Article 23. China’s systematic elimination of autonomy and fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong continues to tarnish Hong Kong’s once sterling reputation as an open and rights-respecting territory and undermine its suitability as a financial and business hub. The U.S. Congress stands in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong and will consider a range of actions to hold the PRC and the Hong Kong government accountable for this grave injustice.”