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观点:“香港政府不应以加重刑罚来回应香港人争取民主和表达自由的诉求”

—— 关慧贞就香港学生领袖被加判监一事发表声明
来源:贴心姐妹网   更新:2017-09-02 06:13:52   作者:关慧贞 温哥华东区国会议员
观点:“香港政府不应以加重刑罚来回应香港人争取民主和表达自由的诉求”——关慧贞就香港学生领袖被加判监一事发表声明

刚出访中国和香港的温哥华东区国会议员关慧贞,就香港学生领袖被加刑判监一事发表以下声明:

在2014年的秋天,香港经常成为国际新闻。由9月下旬到12月中,连串非暴力的街头静坐在数个地点进行。这些非暴力的公民抗命行为被称爲"雨伞运动",黄色的雨伞是用来抵挡执法人员採用警棍和催泪瓦斯来驱散示威者。雨伞运动是一埸为香港争取民主和更具问责政府的社会运动。无私地带领这场运动的领袖包括年仅18岁的黄之峰,他们为了理想和建立更好的社会站出来抗争。

我身为在香港出生的社会活躣份子,对于香港新一代年轻人的勇气和他们非暴力的行动令我深受启发。就香港司法部门就原审社会服务判刑太轻而提出上诉,导致上诉法院给予雨伞运动领袖作出更严厉的新判刑,令我感到十分失望,尤其是他们已经完成了原审判决的刑罚。据悉负责此桉的检控官所提出不就原审刑罚寻求上诉的建议遭到律政司长本人的否决。这项行为的动机在香港和国际社会都带来议论。根据香港法律,任何人若果被判入狱超过三个月便会失去参选的权利,令这些年轻领袖在未来五年都不能参与选举。此外,人们亦担心此事会对市民和平请愿及言论自由造成寒蝉效应。在人们质疑这件事背后政治动机的同时,亦在猜测是否有人在幕后操纵。

与其压制这些声音和提问,我认为这是一个很好的机会让香港政府好好地想想为何公众会提出这些问题,以及为何这样的情绪会在上升。就我在政府25年工作的经验,公众对政府的不信任来自政府施政缺乏透明和问责,令公众感到政府对市民的需要和关注不感兴趣。香港政府不应以加重刑罚来回应香港人争取民主和表达自由的诉求。现在正是契机让香港政府展示良好意愿,表达出关心市民的意见和感受,重新建立互信。

我近期在香港有幸与一群政治观察人士会面谈论香港的政局,他们包括资深时事评论人秦家聪、前政治科学教授郑宇硕、Mark Daly律师、国际特赦组织的Roseanne Rife、加拿大驻港总领事Jeff Nankivell和他的同事。参与者明显对近期发展感到很忧虑。一位参与者更指出有香港人感到中央不再有兴趣在香港推动民主,因为北京已经不再说香港最终会有民主。对于有越来越多的香港人,尤其是年轻一代对祖国的不认同和漠不关心,他亦感到悲伤。虽然绝大多数的香港人都不认同港独的情绪又或想要真正挑战香港政府,但香港人寻求民主改变和不认同监禁年轻社会运动活跃份子的意愿却是清晰的。我们见到有10万人就不公的判刑上街游行,并且在短时间筹得250万港元作为法律费用。

在中国庆祝香港回归20週年的时候,香港人都对中英联合声明有所认识。

大家都记得这份协议重要的意向包括为香港建立民主制度的目标。雨伞运动的目标其实也是这样,是寻求建立更民主和更具问责的政府。近期监禁雨伞运动领袖的发展所带出的问题是,这是新上任特首想给香港市民和世界有关和解及和谐的讯息吗?

在我二十多年在不同政府层面出任民选公职人员的生涯中,让我学会多元化是开放社会的力量。一个进步的政府会接纳异见和不同的声音。我衷心希望我的出生地能够重拾追求推动民主的承诺。

Jenny Kwan Statement on the re-sentencing and imprisonment of Hong Kong Umbrella Movement student leaders

 

In the fall of 2014, Hong Kong was the subject of worldwide press coverage. From late-September until mid-December, a series of non-violent, sit-in street protests in several locations. These non-violent acts of civil disobedience became known as the Umbrella Movement for their use of yellow umbrellas to shield themselves from the elements and attempts from law enforcement to break up the demonstrations such as deploying mace. The Umbrella movement was a quest for democracy and a more accountable government in Hong Kong. Selfless youth leaders, including a then eighteen year old Joshua Wong, stood up and fought for what they believe in, and for the betterment of their society.

Following the protests, leaders were sentenced to community service for their roles in the movement. That decision has been appealed by the Hong Kong government and they have now been sentenced to jail terms.

As someone who is an activist at heart and was born in Hong Kong, I am deeply inspired by these courageous and nonviolent actions being undertaken by Hong Kong’s next generation. I am very disappointed that Hong Kong's Department of Justice recently deemed the original sentence of community services to be too lenient and took steps to appeal that decision which resulted in the Court of Appeal’s ruling to impose new and harsher sentences on the leaders of the Umbrella Movement; especially considering they have all completed serving the original penalties from the first ruling. It has been pointed out that the prosecutor's recommendation to not appeal the sentence ruling was overridden by the Attorney General himself. This has generated much discussion in Hong Kong and elsewhere around the motivation of this move. It is not lost on anyone that with a sentence of jail time of more than three months, these leaders will be barred from running for political office for five years.  In addition, there are also concerns that this will have a chilling effect on people's right to peaceful demonstration and right to free speech.   Questions are now being asked if this was politically motivated and who is really behind the push for this.

Instead of restricting these voices and questions, I believe this is an opportunity for the government to ask themselves why these questions are being asked, why these sentiments are arising. From my experience of working in government for over 25 years, sentiments of distrust in government arise when there is a lack of transparency, accountability, and people feel that the government is not interested and responsive to their needs and concerns. Now is not the time for the government to become more punitive and restrictive of people’s freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration. Instead, the government of Hong Kong should take this opportunity to demonstrate good faith and to rebuild trust by showing that the government is aware of the people’s grievances and concerns on this issue.

I recently had the opportunity to meet with a panel of political observers and activists in Hong Kong which included: Mr. Frank Ching, senior journalist; Mr. Joseph Cheng, former professor of political science; Mr. Mark Daly, principal, Daly & associates; Ms. Roseann Rife, Amnesty International; and Consul General Jeff Nankivell and his staff, about the political landscape of Hong Kong.   There is no question that they are very concerned and disheartened about these latest developments. One panelist stated that Hong Kong people senses that China is no longer interested in democratic reform as Beijing is no longer saying that democracy will eventually come.  Further, he noted with great sadness that people in Hong Kong, especially the younger generation, more and more, do not identify with their motherland and the general feeling is that they do not care about China.  While the majority of Hong Kong people are not supportive of sentiments like Hong Kong independence or are interested in challenging the authority of the Chinese government, it is clear that people want democratic changes to come to Hong Kong and feel that the sentences for the student leaders and activists are unjust. This can be seen by the 100,000 people who came out to protest the sentencing of the young activists, and that 2.5 million HKD was raised for their legal challenge within hours.

As China celebrates the 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong, the people of Hong Kong are very cognizant of the agreement signed between China and Britain 20 years ago.

It is important to remember the original agreement and its intent which included the goal of reaching a democratic system for Hong Kong. The Umbrella Movement sought to do exactly that, to bring more democracy, more accountability, and more transparency to Hong Kong. The latest development of imposing a jail sentence for the leaders of the Umbrella Movement leave many wondering, is this the right and reconciliatory message that the new Chief Executive wants to send to residents of Hong Kong, and to the world?

Throughout my life in Canada and in my many years spent as an elected official at various levels of Canadian government, I have learned that diversity is the strength of an open society. A progressive government means the acceptance of dissent and difference of opinions. I sincerely hope that my place of birth will return to demonstrating commitments to increasing democratic principles.

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