SAR 'bending backwards in bid to appease Beijing'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 April, 1999, 12:00am

Rights activists protesting at a UN meeting have accused the SAR Government of persistently damaging the rule of law and restricting democracy.

Delegates from Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor have handed out reports during the United Nations Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva criticising the Government's handling of controversies.

The synopsis, which covers cases including the non-prosecution of newspaper tycoon Sally Aw Sian, the trial of 'Big Spender' Cheung Tze-keung, and the right of abode ruling, said the Government was apparently 'bending backwards to appease Chinese authorities'.

'The SAR Government, while protesting its commitment to the rule of law, persistently acts in ways which damages it,' the report said.

It is the first time commission members have been given details of the events that rocked post-handover confidence.

Human Rights Monitor director Law Yuk-kai said he wanted to draw international attention to the erosion of democracy and the rule of law.

'It is an important way to bring Hong Kong issues on to the international agenda,' he said in Geneva. If the Hong Kong situation worsened, Mr Law said an international campaign could be organised to put pressure on the Government.

On Tuesday, International Labour Organisation members were concerned their opposition to the scrapping of pre-handover labour protection laws was not followed up by the SAR Government, Mr Law said.

Human Rights Monitor will voice fears over the subversion laws in a briefing on Asian national security today.