Drop the Charges Against 14 at WTO-Hong Kong sign now

Consul General Liu Biwei
Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in New York
520 Twelfth Avenue
New York, New York 10036
Tel: (212)244-9392
Fax: (212) 465-1708

Dear Counsel General Liu Biwei:

We respectfully request that both the Government of Hong Kong and WTO Officials immediately withdraw charges against the fourteen farmers, workers, and journalists who are awaiting trial on the 30th of December. These fourteen foreign citizens were unlawfully arrested and detained for protesting against the WTO 6th Ministerial Conference.

The convergence of thousands of people in Hong Kong during the WTO ministerial Dec. 13th-18th, including those named below, was a necessary action supported by millions around the globe against oppressive trade policies, and should not be treated as a crime. Incarceration and prison mistreatment cannot silence this movement nor prevent future such gatherings, and it must be recognized that the unlawful detention of more than a thousand people, as well as the deportation of some fifty foreign migrant workers by the Hong Kong government, was shameful and unjust.

We urge that the charges against the following people be dropped:

HWANG, DAE SUB: Korean Catholic Farmers Association
YANG, KYOUNG KYU: Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
KANG, SEUNG KYU: Korean Peasants League
LEE, YOUNG HOON: Korean Peasants League
PARK, IN HWAN: Korean Peasants League
YOON, IL KWON: Korean Peasants League
NAMGUNG SUK: Korean Peasants League
LIM, DAE HYUK: Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
KIM, CHANG JOON: Korean Peasants League
HAN, DONG UNG: Korean Peasants League
LEE, HYUNG JIN: Korean Peasants League
LEE CHIEN CHING: Taiwanese student
MAKAKIRI KOSUKE: Japanese journalist, People Newspaper
1 mainland Chinese

Prior to the start of the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference, WTO and Hong Kong-led police conducted raids and harassed local and foreign organizations and activists. The police repression and violence was conducted to suppress demonstrator demands and messages. On December 17, thousands of representatives from farmers, fishers, workers, migrants, women's, and student organizations marched from Victoria Park to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to protest against the destructive policies of the World Trade Organization (WTO). At around 5.00 pm, they were stopped by the police, who used pepper spray, water hoses and eventually, tear gas, to disperse them. Many demonstrators were injured and some were hospitalized, estimates including over 170 protesters and 64 police officers.

After this, at least 900 demonstrators sat peacefully on Gloucester Road, but were soon surrounded on all sides by the police in full riot gear for over ten hours. Many people were forced to stay within this confined space, while reporters and citizens were barred from viewing or entering to document or protect protesters. By 3:30 am December 18th, the police started to arrest the demonstrators throughout the entire day.

Reports from lawyers and many of the 944 detainees reveal that those who were kept on Gloucester Road were not allowed much-needed medical attention, food, water and bathroom facilities; many who were later arrested, but not charged, were subjected to strip-searches, indiscriminate beatings, painful constraints, and again, were denied urgent medical attention.

We speak on behalf of thousands in New York City and other cities in the U.S.A., as well as organizations and people all over the world, who denounce the WTOs violent practices of using police force to quiet dissent. We are committed to ending the ravages of trade policies that kill small farmers, that accelerate poverty and hunger, that concentrate wealth in the coffers of a few wealthy nations.

Thus, we stand in solidarity with the 14 who are unjustly charged, along with thousands of other people around the world, who have been so deeply and desperately impacted by the systemic violence of WTO policies. Many have placed themselves in harms way to stop WTO policies, which not only denies them access to education and health but also steals their means to livelihood.

With respect, we the undersigned, urge the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in New York to demand that both WTO Officials and Hong Kong authorities drop all charges against these political prisoners.

Updates of this struggle can be seen at http://notowto.blogspot.com/

CC:
Mr. Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of Hong Kong
Fax : (852) 2509 0577, E-mail : [email protected]

Mr. Pascal Lamy, Director-General of World Trade Organization (WTO)
Fax: (41-22) 731 42 06, email: [email protected]

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Darcy DoyleBy:
TelecommunicationsIn:
Petition target:
Government of Hong Kong and WTO Officials

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