Carrie Lam, in the press conference in regard to the Fugitive Offenders (Amendment) Bill dated 18 June, not only refused to withdraw the Bill, but also failed to address the demands of Hongkongers. Her pathetic attempt in convincing Hongkongers to give up our demands with a “sincere apology” only showed her shamelessness and arrogance. The so-called “apology” was meaningless and was only made to put off Hongkongers. The Student’s Unions of Higher Institutions strongly condemn Lam’s response.
The regime paid no attention to public opinion over the past month while attempting to ram the Bill through. Tear gas, bean bag rounds and rubber bullets were deployed indiscriminately to brutally oppress peaceful protesters. Furthermore, the Police pointed their rifles and shotguns at citizens, the press and students; some were aimed at bodily parts proven to be potentially lethal, such as eyes and the chest. As civil servants, the regime’s continuously malicious acts were infuriating. A martyr sacrificed his life in a solo blood protest, while the regime continued to turn a blind eye to our demands. The responses given by the regime on various occasion reflected the lack of accountability amongst government officials, and their blame-shifting speeches could not be more embarrassing.
We also strongly condemn the misleading statements made by Police Commissioner Stephen Lo in regard to a “5-men riot”, which was a despicable attempt to polarise protestors. Riot, as defined by the Public Order Ordinance, is not a solo offence. Anyone taking part in an unlawful assembly committing a breach of the peace is a rioter and the persons therein assembled are riotously assembled. Any persons at the scene, therefore, could be charged with riot. We hereby reiterate our stance: no protester shall be charged with riot, the regime must immediately release all political prisoners and promise to bring no charge against the protesters in the future.
Hongkongers do not need crocodile tears from a murderous regime, nor will we accept a mere “suspension” of the bill. We demand the HKSAR government to respond to the following requests before 17:00 on 20 June 2019:
(1) Withdraw the Fugitive Offenders (Amendment) Bill completely and permanently;
(2) Retract the statement which defines the protest on 12 June as riot;
(3) Drop all charges against protesters; and
(4) Establish an independent Investigation Committee, investigate and prosecute police brutality;
In absence of response, the Students’ Unions of Higher Institutions will not hesitate to elevate the movement, including non-cooperation movements such as surrounding the government headquarters on 21 June, in order to increase the cost of governance, until our demands are satisfied.
Our home is at its dying moments, and we are prepared to die protecting it. We will not yield to this barbaric regime.
The Student Union of the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Provisional Executive Committee of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Students’ Union
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Students’ Union
Hong Kong Baptist University Students’ Union
Provisional Executive Committee of City University of Hong Kong Students’ Union
The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong Students’ Union
The Provisional Executive Council of The Education University of Hong Kong Students’ Union
Joint Student Union of Caritas Institute of Higher Education and Caritas Bianchi College of Careers
The Hong Kong University Students’ Union
20 June 2019