Wikimedia Community User Group Hong Kong/Resolution/Fugitive Offenders Amendment Bill
Statement regarding the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance
in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019
Update 5/8/2019 | Statement about current situation in Hong Kong
Wikimedia Community User Group Hong Kong (the Hong Kong Wikimedia Community) has released a resolution on May 16 about its stance on the Extradition Bill. However, the ongoing developing situation requires the local community to issue the following warning. We request the global community, particularly East Asian Wikimania Participants, to be alerted about the ongoing development of the Hong Kong Protests against the extradition bill.
Recent developments indicated that protests against the extradition in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have descended into chaos. News reports, including local and international news outlets have shown that local gangs cooperated with the police force, and protesters “battling” the force using block-and-run tactics.
Local strikes, non-cooperation movements from protesters, and police threats in recent days have disrupted local traffic and harmed the safety of individuals staying in Hong Kong.
Furthermore, strikes from airport staff have led to partial closure of the Hong Kong International Airport, where the airport only operated on a single-runway, resulting in delays and cancellations of flights.
The Hong Kong Wikimedia Community is well aware of the associated safety risks and risks of delays, and recommends international conference participants not to arrange participants, and participants not to use Hong Kong as a transit point.
At the same time, the Hong Kong Wikimedia Community has been notified from our members that there are at least three members living within the conflict zone, particularly in Yuen Long, where reports showing the pro-government councillors cooperating with local triads in attacking passers-by. Currently, none of our members are hurt or charged with crimes associated with the extradition bill protests.
We also hope all members of the public, including the police, government itself, protesters, etc. to stay calm and not to initiate violence against their opposing parties.
Wikimedia Community User Group Hong Kong is informed that the government have already suspended the seconding the bill. To deescalate the rising tension between opposers and the government, the government should, however, not only explain the bill to the public, but also consult the citizens by all possible ways to resolve the deadlock.
Wikimedia Community User Group Hong Kong continues its stance for the government to temporarily withdraw the bill, and listen to public opinion from all sides before resubmitting the bill to the Legislative Council. Having push way more than half a million residents of the city to its streets at June 9, the government should listen and respond to the views of the public before submitting the bill to its second reading.
Rights for the Wikimedia movement to provide existing services in Hong Kong is one of the core missions of Wikimedia Community User Group Hong Kong. It includes both the provision and (unlimited) access of free knowledge.
The Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 has brought underlying fear for the above-mentioned mission. In this Bill, restrictions for extraditing personnel to China are lifted. As seen by how the People’s Republic of China engages in activities against access of Wikipedia (and its sister projects), the Hong Kong User Group is in dire concern of the silencing effect this bill brings, and how it fundamentally uncovers the protection of rights for the Wikimedia Movement to provide services (including, but not limited to access of Wikipedia) in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong User Group is in dire concern of the effects the proposed bill may bring, and urges all parties to stay calm and keep rational. We also hope the government may withdraw the above-mentioned bill, and to resubmit the bill only when citizens (and different stakeholders) of the city are properly consulted and the concerns resolved.
The statement was released at 16 May, 2019 and was resolved by a consensus of Group Liaisons and Community Members.
Wikimedia Community User Group Hong Kong is a User Group representing Wikimedians residing in Hong Kong. The User Group is formally recognized by the Wikimedia Foundation as a movement affiliate on 28 September, 2018.
For media enquirers, please contact User:1233 through Telegram (Telegram Username: @theonly23333) or leave a message through the Facebook Page of Wikimedia Community User Group Hong Kong
This resolution only represents the views of participants of the Hong Kong User Group and does not represent the official stance of the Wikimedia Foundation.