#HongKong Crowds gathered outside court as 47 pro-democracy candidates, campaigners & activists are charged with conspiracy to commit subversion under national security law #NSL.

The prosecutions, a clear statement of intent, are descending into farce. Trouble in Hong Kong. 🧵
Hard to know where to begin with this statement.
The evidence being relied upon predates the #NSL which is said not to be retroactive. And yet...
Here’s the charge sheet. Make of it what you will. As conspiracies go, it’s as public a “conspiracy” as they come.

Reports emerging that defence lawyers have not been given access to their clients, & that no access/“space” for press to report in the courtroom.
It appears now that counsel has been given access to their 47 clients - and a touch of wry humour to proceedings with all the hallmarks of political show trials.
Worth pausing to reflect on this chilling attack on the HK Bar Association with stark proposals to undermine its independence, incl to “list all members of the Bar Council as “public office holders” per #NSL requiring them to swear allegiance to SAR. @BarHumanRights
Very glad to see British Consulate General represented outside the courtroom along with other consulate representatives from across the world. Whether or not they are allowed in, it sends a strong message that the world is watching. @UKinHongKong
For now, leaving you with this extremely moving thread of those 47 democrats charged with the political crimes. Most major figures of dissent or opposition in #HK now seem to be on trial or in jail.

The #NSL in action. The world is watching.
For an overview of what the #NSL means and does, here is a piece I wrote for @prospect_uk last July. A coup dressed up in statute. #lawfare #HK prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/why-h…
Protests outside the courtroom.

No caption needed. #NSL
Reports of #HK47: The hearing went on until very early hours of the morning in HK. Four of the defendants were taken to hospital, most were not given any proper opportunity to rest before being brought back to court today. The logistics surrounding this mass trial are intense.
#HK47 As the opposition faces charges which disclose no clear unlawful act, many committing to harsh #NSL bail conditions - e.g. offering never to in election again - more threats to stamp out what's left of democracy that worry even pro-BJ politicians.
Meanwhile - as lawyers for the #HK47 challenge a prosecution attempt to deny them bail - this update/non-development on the vacant judicial seat in Hong Kong's highest court may be worth watching. Judicial independence is critical to the rule of law.

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More from @WomaninHavana

8 Feb
This is bitterly disappointing, a low blow.

Last week @BarHumanRights, in supporting the #GenocideAmendment, restated its concern that the Govt position - to maintain the status quo - may be used to justify inaction in the face of credible evidence that genocide is occurring.
See the full text of our @BarHumanRights statement supporting #GenocideAmendment.

It allows courts to do what they do well- adjudicate on the facts - & Parliament to take informed decisions on the basis of a preliminary legal determination.
Any proposal by govt to substitute a judicial determination of genocide for one by @CommonsForeign is circular. The Committee *already* has that power, it has used it before & been ignored. The long-standing govt position is a court determination is required.
Read 4 tweets
2 Feb
#India Many have seen reports of the massive #FarmersProtests. As the right to dissent faces increasing challenge in India, press freedom is again threatened. 8 journalists face criminal charges, incl sedition, for reporting allegations of rights abuses during the protests.
If you are interested in the way dissent and free expression has become increasingly criminalised in Modi’s #India, since 2014, this excellent new database bears close examination.
Worth reading this @hrw piece on what’s happening on the official response to the #FarmersProtest. India’s govt has focused on discrediting peaceful protesters, harassing critics of the government, & prosecuting those reporting on the govt: @mg2411
Read 11 tweets
23 Jan
“It was pretty clear we had to be complicit in the fallacy that these things could just work, or risk losing any influence we might have.”

This line, from a CEO, sums up the last 4+ years of May & Johnson’s Brexit.

This brilliant #longread undoes it all. on.ft.com/3c0vhPX
Imagine any CEO or company board reaction to news that financial analysis had not been carried out for fear of what it might reveal.

Then transpose to a govt, acting against the economic interests of its own people to maintain the fiction that if we just believe hard enough...
Johnson led Brexit, he chose its parameters, he defined them by the obsessive ideology of sovereignty over all else, and he chose not to extend time to at least try to improve on the inevitable terms dictated by his choices.

The cries of freedom will ring very hollow.
Read 6 tweets
20 Jan
Light years away from all we have witnessed, so many women, and women of colour, centre stage.

Representation matters. 💜

Something wonderful today. 💜

It’s truly over. He’s gone.

Over to President Biden.

Change. Hope.
Read 7 tweets
26 Dec 20
*That* Gove article shows exactly what has been wrong with the Brexit project since 2016.

It doesn’t offer truths or even perspective. It only offers dishonesty or misrepresentation. Coming as it does from the heart of this govt, the damage is more fatal than “ugly politics”.
For all the breathless reporting of the #BrexitDeal in Britain, as ever with this sorry saga, outside eyes are often the clearest.

This analysis in the @nytimes is a better starting point than so much of what passes for reporting here.
For example:

“Britain’s services sector — encompassing not only London’s powerful financial industry, but also lawyers, architects, consultants and others — was largely left out of the 1,246-page deal, despite the sector accounting for 80 percent of British economic activity.”
Read 4 tweets
23 Dec 20
Dreadful, incomprehensible scenes at Dover. These poor lorry drivers left stranded, probably unable to get home for Xmas, without basics like enough loos, washing facilities & food, & insult to injury added by the lack of translators to explain what’s happening. It’s indecent.
Yes, this has occurred after a Covid emergency, but we are days from potentially a No Deal Brexit, so therefore similar border difficulties predictable. The govt has not only claimed it’s been preparing for months, but has had days to endure basic welfare for stranded drivers.
Meanwhile, here is the German Ambassador ensuring basic welfare of stranded drivers.

How is the British govt so unprepared, incapable or unwilling to engage with the human misery caused by the situation? Shouldn’t be put up to charity to fix or feed. But thank you @Khalsa_Aid.
Read 5 tweets

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