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    MEPs call for political boycott of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

    The European Parliament has condemned the deterioration of human rights in Hong Kong. MEPs call on EU Council to introduce targeted sanctions; they also call for a diplomatic and political boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
    The European Parliament “condemned in the strongest terms” the deterioration of human rights in Hong Kong, including severe restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of the press.

    In a resolution adopted Thursday, MEPs called on the Hong Kong government to release all political prisoners and drop charges against all peaceful protesters arrested in recent years.


    The EP also called on Chinese authorities to repeal the National Security Law, saying it violates China’s international obligations. MEPs noted the Chinese government’s “increasing attempts to legitimize an authoritarian system” internally and externally. They called on authorities in Hong Kong and Macau, China’s second special administrative region, to fully respect the rule of law, human rights, democratic principles and a high degree of autonomy under the “one country, two systems” principle. The European Parliament stressed that it deeply regrets the recent changes to Hong Kong’s electoral laws and the arrest and harassment of representatives of its pro-democracy opposition.


    MEPs are calling on the EU Council, which includes representatives of member states, to introduce targeted sanctions against Hong Kong and Chinese officials responsible for ongoing human rights repression, as well as companies complicit in those violations. They further called for a diplomatic and political boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.


    The text of the resolution was adopted with 585 votes in favour, 46 against and 41 abstentions.


    Under the “one country, two systems” principle, Hong Kong should theoretically have broad autonomy in all areas except foreign policy and defence. According to critics, however, this principle has never been fully implemented; Beijing has repeatedly tested this autonomy, and Hong Kong’s citizens have repeatedly taken to the streets to defend it.

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