Trade unions in France, Italy, the UK, the Netherlands, Canada and the Philippines have issued solidarity statements and call on the Hong Kong authorities to rescind the bounty on Christopher Siu-tat Mung Executive Director of Hong Kong Labour Rights Director and to free all Hong Kong trade unionists behind bars.
On 3 July, the Hong Kong National Police announced a HK$1 million bounty on Christopher Siu-tat Mung and seven other Hong Kong activists who have fled the city. This is the first time bounties have been offered since the promulgation of the National Security Law (NSL).
Christopher Mung is wanted by the Hong Kong National Police on a charge of “incitement to secession” under the NSL for his participation in “June 2022, in a conference held by an organisation outside Hong Kong”. The conference in question believes to be a speech Mung gave at the French Democratic Confederation of Labour (CFDT) congress in Lyon, France on 16 June.
It is outrageous for the Hong Kong authorities to make any National Security charges on the people involved into these union activities.Mathilda Panhaleux, CFDT Confederal Secretary (Asia-Pacific)
CFDT: Trade union exchanges internationally should be well protected under international law
“Trade union exchanges internationally should be well protected under the international labour conventions. It is outrageous for the Hong Kong authorities to make any National Security charges on the people involved into these union activities.” said Mathilda Panhaleux, CFDT Confederal Secretary (Asia-Pacific). In a statement made on 5 July, CFDT condemns Hong Kong authorities’ approach to target activists in exile.
French labour union Force Ouvriere (FO) also issued an statement to condemn the arrest warrant. The statement states that since the implementation of the Hong Kong National Seucrity Law, trade unions have been forced to disband and unionists have been arrested. FO urged the Hong Kong authorities to release all the trade unionists behind bars. The General Confederation of Labour of France (CGT) urged the French government to work on national, EU and international level to demand that the arrest warrants and bounty on Christopher Mung and other 7 Hong Kong activists be lifted.
ITUC: bounty on human rights defenders’ head “egregious”
ITUC deplored the HKSAR authorities’ criminalisation and securitisation of trade union and democracy-promoting activities. On 13 July, ITUC sent a letter of protest to the Hong Kong Chief Executive regarding the escalation in the climate of fear, intimidation, arrests, arbitrary prosecutions, threats for the exercise of trade union rights and civil liberties in Hong Kong.
We consider it particularly egregious, especially given the risks to life and safety faced by trade unionists, human rights defenders and pro-democracy advocates around the world for their legitimate activities, that the HKSAR authorities approved and announced a bounty on the heads of these eight people for exercising their civil liberties or trade union rights.Luc Triangle, Acting General Secretary of ITUC
BWI: Hong Kong government “dangerously obsessed” with unjustly prosecution
The Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI), in their statement, condemns in the strongest possible terms the Hong Kong government’s issue of arrest warrants against Christopher Mung. “It is not enough for the Hong Kong government to force its freedom-fighting citizens to go into exile; it continues to threaten them wherever they are. It is dangerously obsessed on unjustly prosecuting them by all means possible and treating them like low-level criminals with bounty on their heads.” said Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of BWI in the statement. BWI urged the Hong Kong administration to revoke the said arrest warrants and stop persecuting its democracy-loving citizens both at home and abroad.
[Hong Kong government] is dangerously obsessed on unjustly prosecuting them by all means possible and treating them like low-level criminals with bounty on their heads.Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of BWI
National trade unions in the Netherlands, Italy, and the UK also issued statements in solidarity with Mung. Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV) said, Mung is yet another prominent Hong Kong trade unionist targeted by the Chinese regime in a series of continued crackdowns on the Hong Kong trade union movement. FNV demanded the release of all Hong Kong trade unionists behind bars. Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL) reiterated that the legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression and association, including the right to organise and participate in trade union activities, must be respected in accordance with the international human rights laws and standards. It demanded the Hong Kong government to withdraw all charges against Mung and adhere to fundamental international labor and human rights standards.
GMB: Interpol and authorities must not co-operate with political abuse
GMB and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the UK also made statement to support Christopher Mung.
GMB, which invited Christopher Mung to speak at its annual Congress last month about the suppression and jailing of independent trade unionists under Hong Kong’s National Security Law condemn the authorities’ “blatant abuse of power”. “It is essential that Interpol and other authorities do not co-operate with any attempts to enforce this political abuse of judicial processes.” Barbara Plant, GMB National President, added in the statement.
It is essential that Interpol and other authorities do not co-operate with any attempts to enforce this political abuse of judicial processes.Barbara Plant, GMB National President
TUC emphasised that The International Labour Organisation stated in 2021 that the NSL must fully protect the rights of workers and their organisations and called on the Hong Kong government to respect the independence of the trade union movement, and to honour their right to the freedoms of association and expression, and to immediately rescind the reward for the arrest of trade unionists.
China Inquiry Commission, a French activists group with a focus on labour rights in China also released a statement titled “stop the persecution of trade unionists in Hong Kong and called on the release of Lee Cheuk Yan, Winnie Yu and Carol Ng.