Layla Moran calls for sanction of Hong Kong officials

14 Jul 2023


In an Urgent Question to the Foreign Secretary, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Layla Moran MP has urged for sanctions on Hong Kong officials involved in the targeting of pro-democracy activists. 

The UK is currently yet to sanction anyone implicated in the crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong. The US issued sanctions in 2020 - including against Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam. 

Earlier this week, Hong Kong National Security Police issued arrest warrants and bounties against pro-democracy activists living overseas. Three of the activists live in the UK, including Nathan Law.

Layla Moran also called on the Foreign Secretary to meet with the pro-democracy activists who have been targeted. 

Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

“It is beyond time to use sanctions against Hong Kong officials involved in these latest chilling actions. 

“I am staggered that we are yet to sanction a single individual involved in the crackdown on democracy and liberty in Hong Kong. The UK should be leading when it comes to Hong Kong - yet this Government appears content to lag behind our allies.

“We must send a robust response to these latest threats. Nobody on UK soil should ever feel threatened by another country for standing up for freedom.”


Notes to Editor:

A clip of Layla’s urgent question can be downloaded here:

Layla Moran’s speech in the Commons Chamber in full (check against delivery)

Thank you Mr Speaker, 

Finn Lau. 

Christopher Mung. 

And Nathan Law. 

Three incredibly brave individuals. 

Who stood up for democratic values while the Chinese Communist Party rode roughshod over them in Hong Kong. 

They sought refuge in the UK because they thought they would be safe.

But chillingly, Beijing is trying to do all it can to interfere, in what should be Finn, Christopher and Nathan’s safe haven. 

Earlier this week the Foreign Secretary rightly condemned the issuing of warrants and - extraordinarily - bounties against them - and five other pro-democracy activists harboured with our allies.

But Mr Speaker - words are not enough.

The UK should be a safe haven for all Hong Kongers who need it. 

Yet the danger to them, on these shores, feels all too present.

We saw it in Southampton, in May. 

We saw it in Manchester at the consulate, last October. 

We see it with the reported secret police stations. 

Mr Speaker, we need more than words. We need action. 

Most urgently, that means ensuring that these individuals feel safe. 

Tragically, Finn and Christopher have said they do not. They have asked for a meeting with the Foreign Secretary - can we have confirmation this will happen?

Can the Minister clarify that it’s illegal to bounty hunt in the UK - and that the Government will prosecute those who do?

And can the Minister tell the House what discussions he’s had with the US and Australia about coordinating an INTERPOL early warning system to protect pro-democracy activists overseas?

Will the Government reconsider the Foreign Secretary’s planned visit to Beijing in light of this blatant escalation by China of transnational repression? 

And will the Government finally take meaningful action against those involved in these warrants, as well as those intent on snuffing out the flame of democracy in Hong Kong? 

I am staggered that after everything which has happened in Hong Kong, we are still yet to sanction one single person. Our allies acted years ago.

We have existing obligations under the Joint Declaration - yet too often the Government chooses constructive ambiguity rather than firm lines. 

It’s clear on all sides of this House that it’s time for that to change.




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