BWI decries sedition charges against Hong Kong’s Tiananmen vigil organisers

(Photo: UCA News)

The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI), representing 12 million workers worldwide, joins the global community in condemning the filing of sedition charges against the leaders of the Hong Kong Alliance, known for organising the city’s famed annual vigil for victims of the deadly 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. We stand in solidarity with the alliance’s leaders, Lee Cheuk-yan, Albert Ho and Chow Hang-tung as they continue to resist the ongoing crackdown on democratic rights in Hong Kong.

The accusation that the alliance is working as a "foreign agent" is preposterous. The charges filed against the said individuals are baseless and outright tyrannical. The fact that Lee and Ho are already in prison for their involvement in the 2019 democracy rallies, demonstrates that the fresh legal cases lodged against them were concocted to keep them behind bars for life. They also aim to contribute to completely destroy Hong Kong’s democracy movement and demobilize its citizens. 

BWI deplores the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s (SAR) acrimonious attempt to deny its citizens their right to liberty and freedom as punishment for defending democracy. We call on the SAR to immediately and unconditionally release the leaders of the Hong Kong Alliance and dismiss all the charges filed against them. 

We also reiterate our call to release Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) General Secretary Lee Cheuk Yan and several other democracy leaders who received prison sentences for organising and participating in a pro-democracy rally in 2019. Democratic trade unionism is not a crime. It is only a crime to tyrants.


Lastly, BWI, together with the global trade union movement, expresses its continuing opposition to Hong Kong’s New Security Law. The law is patently authoritarian. It has been undemocratically inserted into Hong Kong’s basic law and has since fundamentally undermined the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and curtailed rights and freedoms, including trade union rights associated with the right to free speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association. 

BWI pledges to continue to mobilise its affiliates, build support and express solidarity to the Hong Kong people’s struggle to defend democracy. Trade unionists and workers will fight until democracy is fully restored in Hong Kong.