US Punishes Several Hong Kong Officials In Response To Mass Arrests
The United States has placed new financial sanctions on several Hong Kong officials in response to pro-democracy crackdowns earlier this month under a new law.
The Department of State announced on Friday that it would place financial restrictions on six Hong Kong officials following a massive crackdown against pro-democracy protesters earlier this month, Reuters reported. The crackdown was enabled by a piece of legislation called the “National Security Law,” which the State Department referred to as “draconian.”
Those sanctioned by the State Department for “developing, adopting and implementing the law” include the Vice Chairman of the Central Leading Group on Hong Kong Affairs; the Deputy Director for the Office for Safeguarding National Security; and the Hong Kong delegate to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, according to a State Department release.
#UPDATE The United States has imposed sanctions on six officials including Hong Kong’s sole representative to China’s top lawmaking body over mass arrests of pro-democracy activists in the financial hubhttps://t.co/gRmgpzpVkw
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) January 15, 2021
Three officers of the National Security Division of the Hong Kong Police were also sanctioned, the statement read, accusing them of being foreign leaders or entities that engaged in “coercing, arresting, detaining, or imprisoning” under the new law. (RELATED: China Reportedly Threatens Retaliation Against Hong Kong Activists’ Lawyers)
The sanctions require any U.S.-linked assets of those named to be completely frozen, Reuters reported.
“We condemn PRC actions that erode Hong Kong’s freedoms and democratic processes and will continue to use all tools at our disposable to hold those responsible to account,” the State Department concluded, stating that the PRC’s actions were another example of undermining Hong Kong’s freedoms.
Several activists were arrested in Hong Kong earlier this month, including an American lawyer and former lawmakers, after the new security law was implemented by the People’s Republic of China.