War between the Free World and Totalitarianism
(Speech by Ray Wong Toi-Yeung on 4/6/2019 in German Diet)
(Content originally from Hong Kong Indigenous; small editorial changes made by HKCT to conform spelling standards)
Thanks for having me today. It’s my honour to speak to you. My name is Ray Wong Toi-yeung. Alan Li and I are the first refugees from Hong Kong. We were granted refugee status last year.
I would like to thank Germany for welcoming us. I really appreciate Germany’s reverence for human rights and human dignity. Today, I would also like to thank the Green Party, Ms Bause and her colleagues for organizing this important event.
30 years ago, when the tanks rolled into Tian'anmen Square, the world watched in horror as blood ran on the streets! More horrible is that this murderous regime is still ruling the country! China’s economic success gave the world an illusion that as it prospered, it would eventually become a democratic country with respect for human rights.
Unfortunately, though 30 years have passed, the communist China regime has become more brutal than ever. This is one of the world’s most totalitarian states!
When Hong Kong was handed to China in 1997, we had no choice but to accept this murderer, as the negotiation was made by the UK and China! Under "One Country, Two Systems", Hong Kong was promised to have freedom, rule of law, autonomy and democracy. But China has broken all these promises!
In 2014, I was one of the protesters in a huge pro-democracy protest, the Umbrella Revolution. In order to disperse hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens, the government ordered the use of tear gas against us and the police beat us with batons. Riot police were pointing guns in our face.
There were rumours that tanks from China were crossing the border. The vivid and bloody images of Chinese students rolled over by tanks and shot in Tiananmen square came to my mind!
I was thinking: Would this be our Hong Kong’s June 4?
Nonetheless, we were not afraid! That night I saw the strength of will of Hong Kongers who were willing to defend our city’s freedom and fight for democracy. And I saw hope.
It was this which motivated me to devote myself to Hong Kong’s politics.
I founded the Hong Kong Indigenous Party in January 2015 with a group of young people who shared the same hope as me. Our vision was to fight for freedom, build democracy and save Hong Kong’s language, culture and identity.
“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.”
- Albert Camus
More than a year of hard work later, we gained enough support in a by-election that we were very confident of a seat in the legislative council general election in 2016!
Unfortunately, the Beijing regime saw us as a potential threat which would undermine their great plan to turn Hong Kong into just another Chinese city.
My colleague Edward Leung was barred from running in the election due to his political views. So we transferred our support to another party, which successfully secured two seats. But these two lawmakers were later disqualified also. We lost our political rights!
Not content with this, Beijing and the Hong Kong government came after us with harsh prosecutions linked to another protest, the so-called Fishball revolution. Edward, Alan and I and 40 others were charged with rioting under the Public Order Ordinance, a law which was strongly criticized by the United Nations Human rights Council. The maximum sentence is 10 years in prison!
In June 2018, Edward was sentenced to jail for six years. About 30 other protesters, mostly students, have been put into prison for terms of 3 to 7 years.
I want to call for the immediate release of Edward Leung and all Hong Kong’s political prisoners!
There is a long list of human rights abuses in Hong Kong. Booksellers were kidnapped to China, democratically elected lawmakers were disqualified, protesters were sentenced to harsh prison terms! A Financial Times journalist was expelled from Hong Kong and human rights activists have been denied entry. Academic and press freedom is threatened.
Four leaders of the Umbrella revolution, including Professor Benny Tai and Professor Chan Kin-man are now in prison.
Is this the same Hong Kong as before 1997?
The free world has to wake up to the challenge from authoritarianism and defend Hong Kong’s freedom and dignity against communist China.
Recently, Beijing has opened a new front by ordering the Hong Kong government to pass an amendment to the Extradition law. This Law is effectively a legalization of kidnapping!
The law will give power to the Hong Kong government to arrest and extradite a Hong Kong citizen or foreign visitor to face trial in China. How dare the Hong Kong government agree to extradite their own citizens and visitors to a legal system where forced confessions are normal, and torture is common?
Human rights and the rule of law benefit Hong Kong as a trading hub. It is not only an international financial centre but also a platform for international NGOs to advocate freedom, human rights and democracy in Asia. Hong Kong is strategically important for NGOs in the whole region.
This extradition bill is breaking the firewall between Hong Kong and China. For me personally, I will never be able to go back to Hong Kong as the Hong Kong government could extradite me to China on the grounds of threatening national security.
Hong Kong is facing a critical time in its 178 years of History. On the 30th anniversary of the June 4 massacre, we hope everyone in the world who treasures freedom, democracy and human dignity will join us in solidarity.
Hong Kong needs your help!
This is not only a war fighting the Communist regime by Hong Kong people, this is a war between democracy and tyranny; as well as a war between the free world and totalitarianism.
30 年前，當坦克駛進天安門廣場的時候，全世界都惶恐地看著染血的北京街頭；但更可怕的是，這個殺人政權至今仍然統治著這國家。中國在經濟上的成就給了世界一種繁榮的錯覺，讓人以為這個地方有一天將成為一個尊重人權的民主國家。不幸地，30 年過去了，這裡只有變得比以前更殘暴，更成為世界上其中一個最專制的國家。
當香港於 1997 年交還予中國時，我們（香港人）並沒有選擇，只能接受這個殺人兇手，那時所有談判都是英國和中國之間的，香港人並不能參與。「一國兩制」的制度承諾賦予香港自由、法治、自主及民主，但這些承諾全都被中國打破了。
這份希望驅使我投入香港政治，我和一群和我抱持同樣希望的年輕人，於 2015 年 1 月創立了本土民主前線，我們的願景是爭取自由、建立民主，以及保衛香港獨有的文化，語言和身份。
但北京和香港政府並不滿足於此。在另一場被稱為「魚蛋革命」的大型示威後，他們嚴厲檢控我們。梁天琦、李東昇和我，及另外 40 人，我們被控《公安條例》中的暴動罪，這條最高刑罰是監禁 10 年的條例曾遭到聯合國人權委員會的強烈批評。
2018 年 6 月，梁天琦被判入獄 6 年，其他示威人士，包括大部份學生，全部被判 3 至 7 年監禁。
香港還和 1997 年前一樣嗎？
香港正處於開埠178年來最嚴峻的時候。於六四大屠殺 30 週年這時，我希望世上每一個珍惜自由、民主以及人類尊嚴的人們，與我們團結一致。