Hong Kong police said on February 28, to “conspire to subvert state power” prosecution of 47 had participated in last year’s democratic “35 +” primary election candidates, each of them are not allowed to bail must be detained overnight, and will be in the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court tomorrow morning to court. In response, the European Union Office in Hong Kong and Macao took the lead in responding on Twitter, urging the authorities to abide by their commitment to basic freedoms and the rule of law.
Fifty-three candidates who had participated in last year’s “35+” primary election of Hong Kong’s democratic camp were released on bail after being arrested in January this year on charges of violating the Hong Kong National Security Law. The day before, the pro-democracy activists were notified by the police that they were required to “report early” on Feb. 28. The Hong Kong Police Force said at nearly 3 p.m. that day that 47 of them were charged with “conspiracy to subvert state power” and that they would be held overnight without bail and would be arraigned tomorrow morning at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court.
After the news broke out, including the BBC, the United States “New York Times”, “Washington Post”, France “Le Monde”, Japan Broadcasting Association (NHK) and other major media in many countries are prominently reported on the incident.
As a foreign mission, the EU office in Hong Kong and Macau was the first to respond, saying, “The allegations against 47 pro-democracy figures are of great concern to the EU. These allegations clearly show that legitimate political pluralism will no longer be tolerated in Hong Kong. We urge the authorities to abide by their commitment to fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, as is the case with the Basic Law and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.” For its part, the EU also noted via Facebook that “the allegations made on February 28 against the 47 pro-democracy candidates who participated in last July’s primary elections are of great concern to the European Union. The nature of these allegations clearly shows that legitimate political pluralism will no longer be tolerated in Hong Kong.”
The statement said, “The EU urges the authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing to abide by their commitments to fundamental freedoms and the rule of law as enshrined in the Basic Law and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The EU calls for the immediate release of those arrested. The EU will continue to closely monitor the development of the incident.”