A Catholic senior member of the House of Lords has called for the British Government to impose sanctions upon serving police officers and government members in Hong Kong in retaliation for police brutality against protestors over the last seven months.
Last year, the Conservative Government committed to imposing ‘Magnitsky-style’ sanctions on those responsible for human rights abuses internationally. Lord David Alton of Liverpool, vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hong Kong, recently used an article in the influential journal of parliament, The House magazine, to urge the UK to lay sanctions against senior Hong Kong police officials and the wider administration responsible for allowing human rights abuses to take place on what he identifies as “a routine basis” in Hong Kong.
Under Magnitsky-style law, sanctions can be imposed upon corrupt officials who commit gross human rights abuses on an international scale. The Conservatives committed to implementing Magnitsky style law following Brexit, allowing the UK to impose stronger sanctions on those who commit gross human rights violations.
Lord Alton said: “Perhaps senior Hong Kong police officers who approved the brutality, and the administration to whom they answer, could be among the first to be targeted”.
Police brutality has been reported consistently by the protest movement in Hong Kong, including beatings, shooting of rubber bullets at close range and rapes, resulting in many victims being hospitalised.
Campaign organisations, including Stand with Hong Kong, have been lobbying the UK government to take action since the protest movement began in summer 2019, but the Government has so far failed to act.
Picture: Police subdue a protester outside Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University.