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441-02030 (Foreign affairs)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:


Ms. Chow, Hang Tung, a vice chairwoman of the Hong Kong Alliance, has been committed to advocacy work on human rights issues in China and Hong Kong for many years and has diligently fought for democracy and encouraged Hongkongers to participate in the pro-democracy social movement;

Ms. Chow was arrested on June 4th, 2021, charged with incitement to subversion under the National Security Law on Sept. 9th, 2021, and sentenced to jail for 22 months on Jan. 4th, 2022, as part of an effort to crush dissent in Hong Kong; and

Ms. Chow was awarded the Outstanding Democracy Award by the Chinese Democracy Education Foundation (CDEF) on Dec 4th, 2021, formally recognizing her admirable commitment to human rights and the pro-democracy movement.

Therefore we, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call on the Government of Canada to urge the Hong Kong Government to drop all charges against, and immediately release from custody, Ms. Chow, Hang Tung.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Rob Oliphant

Canada remains deeply concerned about the 291 people arrested for suspected breaches of the National Security Law (NSL) imposed by Beijing in 2020, including Ms. Chow Hang-tung (Vice-Chairwoman of The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China).

Canada strongly supports the rights of political opposition, civil society, and human rights defenders everywhere to operate in an environment free from intimidation and harassment by state authorities. Canada is well aware that the NSL has significantly eroded rights and freedoms, silenced political opposition, and undermined the independence of public institutions as promised under the Sino-British Joint Declaration (1984). The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has also expressed serious concerns over the NSL. The 2022 UN Human Rights Committee’s fourth periodic human rights report on Hong Kong stated that the law violates Hong Kong’s commitments made under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and called for repealing the law. Furthermore, four UN Special Rapporteurs (Special Rapporteurs on the independence of judges and lawyers;  on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism; on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; and, on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression) jointly published a statement in October 2023 to express their concerns about the use of mass trials in NSL cases and how it may negatively affect the safeguards in place that ensure due process and the right to a fair trial.

Since the imposition of the NSL, Canada has taken concrete actions such as suspending its extradition agreement with Hong Kong, imposing export control measures, updating travel advice, and issuing a travel advisory for Hong Kong, and launching new immigration measures for Hong Kong residents. Canada is also aware that the human rights situation continues to deteriorate despite our advocacy and broader efforts. With this overall situation in mind, during China’s Universal Period Review (UPR) of its human rights record in January 2024 at the UN Human Rights Council, Canada called on China to repeal the NSL and discontinue all cases against individuals in Hong Kong charged for exercising their human rights and freedoms, which includes that of Ms. Chow Hang-tung.

Moving forward, Canada will continue to express its concern over the continued erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy and rights through individual and joint efforts with like-minded countries, and monitoring all trials related to NSL charges.

Presented to the House of Commons
Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan)
January 30, 2024 (Petition No. 441-02030)
Government response tabled
March 18, 2024
Photo - Garnett Genuis
Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan
Conservative Caucus

28 signatures

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.