24 April 2020
Release date: 24/04/2020
The Council of The Bar of Ireland denounces the mistreatment of lawyers in Hong Kong.
The Council of The Bar of Ireland has written to Mrs. Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and to the embassy of the People's Republic of China in Ireland, condemning the recent arrests of lawyers and democracy activists Martin Lee QC and Dr. Margaret Ng.
Tim O’Leary SC, Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee of the Council of The Bar of Ireland, said, “The arrest of lawyers Mr. Lee and Dr. Ng, whose peaceful and legitimate protection of human rights in accordance with domestic and international legal frameworks, causes grave concerns for access to justice and the rule of law”.
The Council joins its colleagues across the international legal community in calling on the Hong Kong authorities to immediately release these detainees; to drop all charges against them, and to cease what are alleged to be politicised and targeted prosecutions against those involved in peaceful demonstrations - a right that is enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 and the Hong Kong Basic Law.
In his letter to the Chief Executive and the Chinese Ambassador, Mr. O’Leary reminded the authorities of Article 39 of the Hong Kong Basic Law which expressly preserves the application of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 1966 to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and thereby the HKSAR government’s duty to conform to its obligations thereunder.
A copy of the letter can be viewed here.