Amid increasing police brutality and violence, millions of people in Hong Kong are protesting a crisis of democracy and human rights violations.
Hong Kong’s police force is responding to the largely peaceful protesters with violence.
Civilian demonstrators and bystanders have also been assaulted by members of organized crime groups with probable ties to Beijing. Even more alarming, the Chinese government—which has thousands of troops stationed in Hong Kong and across the border—is denouncing the protest movement with increasingly hostile rhetoric.
“As the people of Hong Kong mount a movement to defend their freedoms, they deserve strong support from the United States and other democracies,” said Freedom House president Michael J. Abramowitz. “The US government must stand by those seeking their fundamental freedoms and demand that the Chinese government refrain from military intervention in Hong Kong.”
Freedom House has tracked a sharp democratic decline in Hong Kong over the last decade, alongside growing interference by the Chinese government in local affairs. A weak international response increases the likelihood of worsening unrest that could harm both local residents and US interests, and that would set a dangerous precedent for potential future Chinese aggression.
Freedom House urged that the United States and other democracies must take strong, immediate action to stand with the people of Hong Kong in their defense of democratic values, urge accountability for perpetrators of violence, and protect international economic and security interests in the territory.