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2020.06.05 15:00

Lithuanian MPs propose granting asylum to Hong Kong people

BNS2020.06.05 15:00

A group of Lithuanian lawmakers have proposed granting asylum to “Hong Kong people who might face persecution and repressions from China”.

A draft resolution expressing concern over Beijing’s plans to impose a new national security law in Hong Kong has been proposed by 36 Lithuanian lawmakers from different parliamentary groups.

Read more: China pressuring Lithuania. Vilnius needs to respond – opinion

The bill was submitted by Gabrielius Landsbergis, leader of the opposition conservative party, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, leader of the Liberal Movement, as well as other lawmakers, mainly from opposition groups.

Last week, the Chinese parliament backed a proposal to bypass the Hong Kong legislature and impose a new national security law. Critics are concerned this move might do away with the freedom of speech and political opposition in the semi-autonomous territory.

The resolution expresses concern that the new law will create “a possibility for criminal prosecution of Hong Kong residents for political crimes and runs counter to the commitments on the rights of Hong Kong residents”, enshrined in the territory’s basic law.

The draft resolution also calls on the Lithuanian president and government to support the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong by “defending in a principled manner the international rule of law within the European Union’s political bodies”.

“By imposing a national security law on Hong Kong, China is showing that it does not adhere to the international treaties. However, the world without international law is the world of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which we have already experienced,” Mantas Adomėnas, one of the initiators of the resolution, told BNS. “That‘s why Lithuania must care about the fate of Hong Kong.”

Read more: Chinese demonstration in Vilnius unmasks Beijing's reach into Lithuania – LRT Investigation

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