Petition letter on Nov 29th "We Could All Be Simon" petition
A Petition Letter from British Nationals in Hong Kong to HM Government
Dear Sir Andrew Heyn,
The District Council Election in Hong Kong has come to an end with a pan-democrat victory, yet Hong Kong’s situation remains grave as the fight for freedom and democracy has seen few triumphs but great losses. Mr Simon Cheng, a former employee of the British Consulate-General, was detained and tortured by Chinese secret police. His interview on the BBC and his personal statement on Facebook have detailed his experience and bearing witness to Hong Kong protesters being secretly detained by China, insulted and tortured for their political stances. This episode is undoubtedly a clear violation of the Sino-British Joint-Declaration, in which Hong Kong is beholden to an autonomy of the judiciary. As a co-signatory of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, Britain is empowered and legally obliged to oversee the international treaty and act in the case which it is breached.
Mr Simon Cheng is a British National (Overseas). His identity as a British National and a representative of a British diplomatic post should protect him from being illegally and unfairly imprisoned by China. However, British intervention is not possible as British National (Overseas) is not a recognised nationality by China, rendering the British support for British National (Overseas) in China and Hong Kong ineffective, where the possibility of them being prosecuted being the highest. The event has left Mr Cheng traumatic. We hence would like to request Her Majesty’s Government to duly offer protection to him and extend her support to his family, who are at risk after the incident.
Aside from Mr Cheng, other Hongkongers being placed into custody in China may be British Nationals who may never see the light of day again. According to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, Hongkongers should face trials in Hong Kong; but Mr Cheng has told a different story that there were Hong Kong protesters being interrogated by the Chinese secret police in mainland facilities, which is an evidence that the treaty is not being respected and upheld by China. The same applies to Ms Alexandra Wong, a peaceful elderly protester who was often seen on the frontline of the protest carrying and raising a Union Jack, has been arrested in Shenzhen, where she lives as a Hong Kong citizen.
Following Mr Cheng’s solid account of his arbitrary detention by the Chinese authorities, we hereby urge Her Majesty’s Government to:
1. Support and protect Mr Cheng as a British National;
2. Investigate and intervene Mr Cheng’s unreasonable arrest; Investigate whether Hongkongers are being detained in China for political reasons;
3. Grant protection to British Nationals in Hong Kong; Review the current policy regarding British National (Overseas) to ensure their rights and security
With the lives of Hongkongers in peril, it is paramountly important for Britain to do her best to guarantee the safety of her nationals. Hong Kong is no longer safe for them to practice their freedoms and expresses their opinion; with the fundamental British values being eroded, British Nationals in Hong Kong can only look to their motherland to safeguard their liberty.
Your assistance and follow-up on this grave incident are much appreciated. We would be grateful if you could reply us with updates of this matter to firstname.lastname@example.org Much obliged for your efforts and help and we look forward to your reply. Yours Sincerely, Leo Wong For and on behalf of Britons in Hong Kong