Statement 19 April 2020
I am concerned by news of coordinated arrests on 18 April of 14 high-profile pro-democracy figures in Hong Kong for allegedly participating in unauthorised protests last year.
The rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are enshrined in the Basic Law for all people of Hong Kong. That this has happened in the midst of the global crisis stemming from COVID-19 is concerning.
Actions that undermine stability are never acceptable, but to do so during a crisis of this magnitude erodes goodwill and trust.
,The advantages protected under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ framework include open and accountable law enforcement which meets society’s expectations, and the professional and unbiased application of justice.
Both are vital to restore confidence and stability in Hong Kong, never more so than now.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister for Women
Senator the Hon Marise Payne