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Petitions letter on 1st of September

An Open Letter from Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Holders and Citizens of U.K. and Colonies to the British Government Demanding Full British Citizenship

Dear Sir Andrew Heyn,

The peaceful million people rallies happening in the past two months in Hong Kong have made front-page news across the globe. Attention has been drawn to the unjust Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation, the police brutality that Hongkongers face, the nonchalant response from the Chief Executive, and the aggravating life and disappearing rights in the city. A large amount of evidence proves that the Chinese Government has been intervening in many Hong Kong matters, unquestionably violating the Basic Law as well as the promise made when signing the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984.

The dishonourable remark made by the Chinese Foreign Ministry saying that the Sino-British Joint Declaration is ‘a historical document that no longer has any realistic meaning’ is but a stark confession of infringements of civil liberties in Hong Kong particularly intrusions on freedoms after the handover in 1997. We regret to feel that the feared days are nearer as the increasing interference from the Chinese Government seems irrevocable. The Sino-British Joint Declaration states that ‘Hong Kong's previous capitalist system and its way of life would remain unchanged for a period of 50 years until 2047’ but the Chinese Government has failed to honour this promise. In view of the worsening situation, we opine that:

The British Government should too declare the Joint Declaration breached immediately after the Chinese Government has announced that the treaty is null and void; as the signing party of the declaration, the British Government is obliged to protect citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKCs). As a matter of fact, all citizens of the British Empire had unrestricted right to enter and live in any British territory before 1983, it is only right for the Home Office now to extend the right of abode in the U.K. and grant full citizenship to BN(O) holders in Hong Kong;The U.K. had false trust on the Chinese Government and left Hong Kong people with this second-class passport, it is morally correct to issue BN(O) holders a full British passport as a route out of Hong Kong.

Your consulate employee Mr. Simon Cheng was confirmed being detained at the Chinese border for 15 days in mid-August with no valid reason and this is simply a perfect indication of how atrocious matters have developed. The British Government is clear that “the Joint Declaration is a legally binding treaty, registered with the United Nations, which continues to remain in force. It remains as valid today as it did when it was signed over thirty years ago".

Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy is under increasing pressure, we sincerely hope that the British Government will review the rights of the BN(O) and protect its nationals in Hong Kong. Your assistance in delivering our voice to the U.K. Government is much appreciated.

Sincerely yours,

Britons in Hong Kong

[The petition letter was delivered to British Consulate Staff during the rallying.]

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