TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Human rights activists staged "Resist China: Freedom Now" protests in more than 60 cities worldwide on Thursday (Oct. 1), China's National Day, to raise awareness of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of ethnic minorities and suppression of freedom.
On the Taiwanese island county of Kinmen, which lies just off the coast of China, Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan (HRNTT) led other Taiwanese human rights groups in calling out the CCP for its oppressive policies.
"The Chinese communist regime has been violating human rights and freedoms within its territory and the regions under its control. It has been threatening Taiwan's safety and constraining the nation's international activities. It exports authoritarianism to other countries and bullies those that don't follow its orders." said Lin Hsinyi (林欣怡), an HRNTT board member.
"There is no Chinese embassy in Taiwan. That is why we choose to hold this event at the place that is the closest to China," she explained.
HRNTT Chairperson Tashi Tsering explained why some Tibetans have used self-immolation as a form of protest in the past years. "Tibetans risk their lives if they demand freedom in their homeland. People have no room to propose anything for their country, so they end up taking an extreme approach."
One of the largest of Thursday's demonstrations took place in Washington D.C. where hundreds of Tibetans, Uighurs, Hongkongers, and Taiwanese gathered on Capitol Hill, waving flags and using performance art to slam the Chinese government.
More than 100 Uighurs, some handcuffed and blindfolded, stood beside instruments of torture to represent the concentration camps the CCP is using in Xinjiang to erase the Muslim minority's ethnic identity.
(Victims of Communism, Twitter photo)
A former member of the disbanded Hong Kong political party Demosisto, Jeffrey Ngo (敖卓軒), also attended the event to bring attention to the 12 Hongkongers who are now detained in China after failing to flee to Taiwan in a boat.
"I saw that some congresspeople have supported the detainees on Twitter, but it is extremely hard to rescue them, as they have already been detained by the Chinese authorities," Ngo told RFA. "In the long run, there should be solutions offered to Hongkongers who face political persecution so they will not have to take risks, such as illegally fleeing to Taiwan by water."
On Oct. 1, the House Foreign Affairs Committee discussed the newly introduced Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act of 2020, which is an updated version of a bill submitted this summer. This Act will require the U.S. government to provide temporary refuge to Hongkongers in the U.S. who fear being persecuted if they return home and to expedite the refugee application process.
In Brussels, Paris, and Oslo, Tibetan and Uighur expats teamed up with local activists to call for an end to the Chinese regime. In Barcelona, locals sang "Glory to Hong Kong" in the Catalan language to support the Hong Kong people, many of whom share their desire for independence.