Target: President of China Xi Jinping
Goal: Allow protesters in Hong Kong to express their views and participate in the Occupy Central movement without fear of punishment
Chinese officials, together with lawmakers in the Chinese city of Hong Kong, are trying to prevent a nonviolent protest calling for electoral reforms. Both governments have tried to stop the protests from occurring, but these efforts must be abandoned. All humans should be guaranteed the right to peacefully protest without fear of punishment from their government.
On June 20, 2014 a group of citizens organized under the name “Occupy Central with Love and Peace” plans to hold a city-wide “civil referendum” where the people of Hong Kong can choose between three proposals for political reform. All proposals will include the right for all adults to vote in elections, in line with international standards. Hong Kong’s own constitution is expected to eventually guarantee universal suffrage and local residents are unwavering in pursuing this ideal.
The Chinese national government issued an order asserting its control over the region. Hong Kong’s autonomy is determined by the “level of autonomy granted by the central leadership,” according to the order. It also states that Hong Kong’s leaders must be “patriots” and “loyal to the country.” The people of Hong Kong understandably perceive these words as threats. This “white paper” goes against the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration which outlined basic freedoms for those in the region and granting Hong Kong a “higher degree of autonomy.” Both the Chinese and Hong Kong governments should heed these commitments and refrain from interfering with peaceful protests.
Occupy Central is fighting for universal suffrage, a crucial human right. All participants have to sign a pledge committing to nonviolence while they protest in Hong Kong’s political and financial districts. Protesters should not only be allowed to participate, but they should not be punished for expressing their views.
Under international law all people have the right to freedom of speech and expression. Tell the Chinese government to cease its interference with the protests and end its attempts to restrict crucial freedoms.
Dear President Xi Jinping,
I am writing this letter to demand that your government allow Occupy Central to host a nonviolent protest in the financial and political districts of Hong Kong, where citizens plan to push for political reforms granting universal suffrage. This right to protest and express basic freedoms is protected under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, and is an internationally recognized right guaranteed to all human beings.
The declarations your government has made towards Occupy Central organizers and participants are uncalled for, and lead many to believe you will try to prevent the protests from taking place. I must insist that you not only allow the demonstration to proceed, but that you ensure that no peaceful activists are punished for expressing their views.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: chensiyuan via Wikimedia Commons