Hong Kong: Pax Christi Asia-Pacific releases statement on the situation in Hong Kong
4/9/19 - The following statement was released by our regional network, Pax Christi Asia-Pacific, last week.
The people of Hong Kong have shown the world their commitment to the protection of democracy through protests and demonstrations with no clear end in sight.
These demonstrations are a culmination of events that frustrated the people of Hong Kong, especially the youth: the curtailment of the right to elect their own political leaders, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, the increasing cost of housing and house rents, increasing interference by China in the internal affairs of Hong Kong, including increasing interference in the judiciary. The bill that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be extradited to mainland China angered people more intensely. Since 15 June, the bill has been suspended but its withdrawal has not been announced. Running for 4 months in August, these demonstrations have morphed into a call for free elections. The 2019 protests have drawn an estimated two million people.
What started as relatively peaceful protests have spiraled to violence. Police have arrested hundreds in rallies. Amnesty International has called out Hong Kong police for using tear gas and rubber bullets “in a way that have fallen short of international standards.” A few protestors have also taken to attacking police offices, district headquarters and police family quarters, or defacing government and public property.
Pax Christi Asia Pacific upholds the values of nonviolence, justice, reconciliation and human rights. We call on all parties involved to sit down, listen, and respond to concerns in a way that does not harm the people and its territory.
We believe that violence solves nothing, and urge everyone involved to choose the path of nonviolence in finding solutions to the issues that currently confront the territory.