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Former Democratic lawmakers Andrew Wan, left, Lam Chuck Ting, second from the left, and Helena Wong, right, at a news conference after they were released on bail.
AP Photo / Kin Cheung, File
The United States joined Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada on Sunday in condemning the latter Dozens of pro-democracy activists were arrested In Hong Kong.
Fifty-five people – including American human rights lawyer John Clancy – They were arrested last week for participating in the informal primaries for the legislative elections, in violation of Chinese law aimed at suppressing dissent in the semi-autonomous Hong Kong.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his counterparts in the other three countries said in a joint letter released Sunday: “It is clear that the National Security Act is being used to eliminate dissent and opposition to political views.”
“We call on the central authorities in Hong Kong and China to respect the rights and freedoms legally guaranteed to the people of Hong Kong without fear of arrest and detention.”
The detainees have not been formally charged under the law, and nearly all of them have been released without bail.
The Hong Kong government responded with a statement of its own in which it defended law enforcement.
“We are horrified by the comments made by some government officials abroad that seem to indicate that people with certain political beliefs should be immune to legal sanctions,” the statement read.
In 2019, Hong Kong shook Months of often violent protests To demand a more democratic government.