Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor Requests Investigation of Shen Yun Cancellation
By Lin Yi 30/04/2010
HONG KONG–Director Law Yuk Kai announced that the Hong Kong Human
Rights Monitor has requested the Hong Kong government to initiate an
investigation into the cancellation of Shen Yun Performing Arts in Hong
Kong and to submit a report to the United Nations.
Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor (HKHRM) also expressed its support for
the April 20 lawsuit filed by the presenter which addresses the
circumstances that provoked the involuntary cancellation of the
company’s entire run of seven shows in Hong Kong, scheduled from Jan.
27 through Jan. 31.
The HKHRM proposal was submitted to the Constitutional and Mainland
Affairs Bureau regarding the implementation of the International
Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) on Feb. 19.
The proposal criticizes the Hong Kong government for refusing to grant
visas to six key production staff members in the Shen Yun Performing
Arts company a week before the show was to begin with the claim that
these positions could be filled by local skilled labor.
This decision, according to the proposal, has infringed upon the rights
to cultural expression by the performing company, robbed Hong Kong
audiences of their right to watch the show, and restricted cultural
freedom in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government should provide an
explanation for the policies and rationale behind the decision.
Other Hong Kong public figures have also criticized the decision,
suggesting that it was actually a result of political pressure from
Beijing. Mr. Law expressed concern for the Communist regime's control
over the Hong Kong government when it comes to sensitive issues. “The
authorities seem to exert tight control just as in mainland China,” he
said. “We are very worried about this situation. We hope the government
can justify its decision to the United Nations.”
Law pointed out that because an audit carried out by the U.N. is
authoritative, the Hong Kong government and the Chinese communist
regime will pay a price for violating the treaty.
Although the U.N. might not be able to
pursue all matters under the ICESCR, Mr. Law thinks that the submission
of the proposal will put some pressure on the government and the
Chinese communist regime, saying “It will force them to think twice
before doing such things again.”
This kind of ridiculous restriction on freedom of expression brings
shame to Hong Kong, according to Mr. Law. “At the very least, the
government should bear moral responsibility in this matter,” he said.
”To a certain extent, it is a violation of international treaty. The
Hong Kong government and Chinese communist regime should be humiliated
for doing this. Criticisms, especially from authoritative bodies like
the U.N. will embarrass a country or government.”
Law also hopes that the Hong Kong government will implement reforms to prevent such incidents from happening again.
With respect to the judicial review filed by the presenters of Shen Yun
Performing Arts, Mr. Law said, “Ultimately, we hope that basic rights
and constitutional laws can be enforced through the judicial system. We
really hope that at least the court has the wish to protect human
rights, and that this will be manifested through a fair trial. We hope
the court can understand that in an undemocratic system, ordinary
citizens rely on them to protect their rights.”