【十二港人渺無音訊 港府支援是為公論— 中西區區議員致林鄭月娥公開信 |“Bring Them Home: A demand for the HKSAR government to fulfil its sworn duty to the twelve locked away: An open letter from the Central and Western District Councillors to Mrs Carrie Lam”】

(Please scroll down for English version.)

香港特別行政區行政長官
林鄭月娥女士:

十二名香港人於本年八月二十三日被中國海警拘捕,並拘禁於深圳鹽田看守所,至今已二十四日。連日來,家屬遵從中國司法程序,多番委託中國律師前往看守所,希望與被扣押港人接觸,均被公安當局無理阻撓,十二港人至今音訊全無。

鹽田看守所方面聲稱部份被拘留港人已另外自行委託律師,拒絕安排家屬委託的律師會見。絕大部分香港人從未接觸中國司法程序,能自行安排律師之舉本已教人嘖嘖稱奇,而這些被委託的律師,至今亦從未與被拘留者家屬聯絡,交代被捕人情況,極為不妥。此等情況令人擔憂十二位香港人在非自願的情況下,被安排所謂「官派律師」。惟因家屬及其委託的律師無法與十二位港人會面,未能確認被拘留港人委任律師的意願。

據《公民權利和政治權利國際公約》,十二位被捕港人應享有自行選擇辯護律師及法律諮詢權利,但在「官派律師」介入案件、家屬委託律師被司法局、國內安全保衛局等部門多重威嚇,相關權利顯然已被剝奪。中國外交部發言人華春瑩更在社交網站指十二人企圖將香港從中國分裂出去,簡直是未審先判,違反《公約》內的無罪假定原則。

是次被捕十二位港人當中,有的罹患哮喘、皮膚病、抑鬱症等疾病,更有未成年人士,理應受到人道待遇,安排提供合適藥物,並與家屬聯絡。但中國法律制度落後且不透明,家屬根本無從入手。香港政府有責主動支援,保障被拘留人士的健康及人身安全。

我等呼籲香港政府馬上回應被拘留港人家屬提出的四項訴求,立即採取相應行動,確保香港居民的基本權利不受侵犯:

一、被拘留港人及其家屬有權選擇及委託辯護律師,並拒絕「官派律師」

二、基於人道理由,香港政府應該與大陸當局溝通,以提供合適藥物予被拘留者

三、當局准許被拘留者致電聯絡家人

四、政府有責任保障十二名港人權利,盡速尋求將他們送回本港

中西區區議員
梁晃維 彭家浩 葉錦龍 張啟昕 黃健菁 許智峯 楊浩然
黃永志 任嘉兒 何致宏 伍凱欣 吳兆康 甘乃威 鄭麗琼

二零二零年九月十七日

副本抄送:
政制及內地事務局局長曾國衞
入境事務處處長區嘉宏
駐粵辦主任陳選堯

To Mrs Carrie Lam,

It has been 24 days since the arrest of the twelve Hong Kong citizens on 23rd August this year by the Chinese coast guards. Since then they have been detained at Shenzhen Yantian detention centre and denied contact with their families and Chinese lawyers sent upon their families’ request under Chinese legal procedures. These unreasonable actions by the Public Security department have made it so that no family members or public have heard from these twelve since their arrest.

Officials from Yantian detention centre rejected detainees’ requests to arrange meetings with the lawyers appointed by their families, claiming that some of the detained Hong Kong citizens have already appointed their own lawyers. These arrangements and claims are deeply concerning, as it seems rather unlikely that those who have not had experience with Chinese legal procedures know how to appoint their own lawyers while in detention. It is even more concerning that these government-appointed lawyers have not yet contacted the families of the detainees. We are concerned that these “appointed lawyers” were arranged by the Chinese government without the detainees’ consent. These speculations cannot be verified, however, as the detainees’ families have still been denied communication with them. This means that they are unable to confirm the detainees’ decisions regarding lawyer appointments.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) guarantees the rights of individuals to “communicate with counsel of (their) own choosing” (Article 14.3b) and to “defend (themselves) in person or through legal assistance of (their) own choosing” (Article 14.3d). These rights have been clearly violated in this situation, as shown through the potentially forcible involvement of government-appointed lawyers, while lawyers appointed by the detainees ’own families are being threatened by National Security officials. The claims made online by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying that the twelve Hong Kong citizens are attempting to separate Hong Kong from China, which effectively stands as a verdict before trial, is an even more blatant violation of the principle of the “presumption of innocence” in the ICCPR.

Among the twelve detainees, there are members who display particular vulnerabilities, including illnesses such as asthma, skin diseases and depression. There are even minors among the detainees. These vulnerable groups are the very people that the government should be actively protecting, serving, and caring for, and it is the government’s duty to provide appropriate medication and to contact their families while they are in detention.

However, the lack of transparency in the current Chinese legal system means that families can do nothing about the situation, and that it is impossible for us to determine whether detainees are being treated humanely/with basic humanity, let alone with an appropriate level of care. It is, therefore, the duty of the HKSAR government to actively intervene and ensure the safety and well-being of the detainees.

We call for the HKSAR government to respond to the four demands raised by the families immediately and take appropriate actions to ensure that the basic rights of Hong Kong citizens are not violated:

The twelve Hong Kong citizens and their families’ right to choose and appoint their own defence counsels should be upheld, instead of defaulting to government-appointed lawyers.

The HKSAR government should contact the Chinese officials on humanitarian bases to provide needed medication for the detainees.

The detainees should be allowed to call their families.

The HKSAR government has a duty to ensure the rights of the twelve Hong Kong citizens and bring them back to Hong Kong as soon as possible.

Central and Western District Councillors
Leung Fong-wai Fergus, Pang Ka-ho, Yip Kam-lung Sam, Cheung Kai-yin, Wong Kin-ching Cherry, Hui Chi-fung, Yeung Sui-yin Victor, Wong Weng-chi, Yam Ka-yi Camille, Ho Chi-wang, Ng Hoi-yan Bonnie, Ng, Siu-hong, Kam Nai-wai, Cheng Lai-king

17th September 2020

C.C.
Mr Erick Tsang Kwok-wai, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs
Mr Au Ka-wang, Director of Immigration
Mr Sidney Chan, Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong


葉錦龍 Yip Kam Lung Sam
中西區區議會石塘咀選區議員 Member of C&W District Council (Shek Tong Tsui)
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