- 20th December 2005Urgent appeal by the Hong Kong support group for Anti-WTO protest detaineesDear friends,We write to request your immediate solidarity action against the Hong Kong government's mass arrest and violence against the anti-WTO demonstrators on the 17th and 18 th of December 2005.Currently, 14 male demonstrators including 11 Koreans, 1 Japanese, 1 Chinese, and 1 Taiwanese are still held in police custody and will be up for trial this Friday, the 23rd of December.As members of various international and local Hong Kong civil society groups, we strongly condemn the mass arrests and crackdown against WTO demonstrators. We assert the legitimacy of protest, and continue to support and call for the unconditional release of those who are still detained. We call for better treatment of detainees, and demand an apology from the Hong Kong authorities for their actions.Various solidarity actions, listed below, have been planned for Hong Kong. We call for international solidarity actions on and before the 23rd of December. Please find below background information and further suggested actions including a sample email. We urge you to contact the Hong Kong authorities today and call for the detainees to be released and the charges to be dropped!Updates and more information can be found the website of the Hong Kong Peoples Alliance on the WTO: http://www.hkpa-wto.org/For more information, please contact:HKPA Documentation Teamhkpa.documentation@...Further Local Action:1.Starting at 4:00pm on the 21st of December a member of the Korean Peasants' League will bow 3000 times in front of Kwun Tong District Court, Kowloon.2.Local activists will continue a hunger strike, started upon initial arrests on the 18th of December.3.Symbolic visits to the three detention centers where detainees are being held will take place during the day of 22nd of December for Winter Festival. Tong Yuen desserts will be brought as a gesture of reunification.4.A candlelight vigil will be held on the evening on the 22nd of December at SOGO pedestrian zone from 9:00pm 11:00pm.5.A solidarity demonstration outside of Kwun Tong District Court will be held on the 23rd of December starting at 11:00am.Suggested International Action:1. Please contact the Hong Kong authorities to demand that those in custody be released, and that the charges be dropped.2. Please send Hong Kong People's Alliance, at hkpa.documentation@..., your message of solidarity to be used during the local demonstration at Kwun Tong District Court on the 23rd of December.3. Please arrange international protests on or before the 23 rd of December at your local Chinese embassy.Background:On December 17 the Hong Kong police arrested hundreds of activists who were trying to reach the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in a demonstration to protest against the policies of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).At around 5:00 pm, they were stopped by the police, who used pepper spray, water hoses and eventually, tear gas, to disperse them.Many demonstrators were injured and some were hospitalized.Reports from the legal support group and those arrested reveal that many have been mishandled or beaten by the police and were denied medical aid, food, water and bathroom facilities.By now most arrested have been released, but the HK government sent 14 demonstrators to court on 19th of December charging them with unlawful assembly under the HK Public Order Ordinance. These people include 11 Koreans, 1 Taiwanese, 1 Japanese and 1 mainland Chinese (names listed below). The judge rejected bail out requests. They are now in police custody pending trial on the 23rd of December. The police might charge them with more serious offences.Those persons still detained:HWANG, DAE SUB Korean Catholic Farmers' AssociationYANG, KYOUNG KYU Korean Confederation of Trade UnionsKANG, SEUNG KYU Korean Peasants' LeagueLEE, YOUNG HOON Korean Peasants' LeaguePARK, IN HWAN Korean Peasants' LeagueYOON, IL KWON Korean Peasants' LeagueNAMGUNG SUK Korean Peasants' LeagueLIM, DAE HYUK Korean Confederation of Trade UnionsKIM, CHANG JOON Korean Peasants' LeagueHAN, DONG UNG Korean Peasants' LeagueLEE, HYUNG JIN Korean Peasants' LeagueLEE CHIEN CHING Taiwanese studentMAKAKIRI KOSUKE Japanese journalist, "People Newspaper"1 mainland ChineseIt is extremely important to contact the Hong Kong police and authorities as soon as possible, before the hearing of the 23rd, and call for those kept in custody to be released, and for the charges to be dropped. Find below a sample email with contact addresses (you are encouraged to adapt this to your own words).SAMPLE EMAILTo: Chief Executive of HK: Mr Donald Tsangceo@...Head of the Security Bureau: Mr Ambrose S.K. LEE atsbenq@...Dear Mr Tsang / Mr. LeeI/we (my organisation) am deeply concerned about the 14 demonstrators still held in police custody in Hong Kong, following the rally of December 17, 2005. I/we (my organisation) call upon you to immediately release them, and drop all of the charges.Over the past few weeks, dozens of peaceful rallies were organized in Hong Kong. Furthermore, the local and international community was deeply moved by the sincere actions of demonstrators and expressed their strong support to the Korean peasants.During the whole demonstration, there was no damage to private shops or public property. Police labeling of this incident as a "riot" is totally misleading and completely untrue.I/we (my organisation) regret that the police force used unnecessary excessive force during the rally, on December 17, 2005. Tear gas was applied without prior warning to the public and reporters on the spot. We regret the fact that considerable numbers of demonstrators and Hong Kong citizens were injured by water cannon and tear gas and express our deepest concern to all injured people.Many international NGO and trade union representatives were present in Hong Kong during the WTO conference, and joined in the rallies and actions together with those presently kept in custody. The international community will continue to closely monitor the situation of the detainees and the actions of the Hong Kong authorities. We sincerely hope you will hear our call and release all detainees unconditionally and without pressing charges.SincerelyVisit my web page at http://daga.dhs.org/maxYou don't make peace by talking to your friends; you have to make peace with your enemies. Nelson Mandela
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