Hong Kong: VC demands liberation of imprisoned farmers

2005-12-19 00:00:00

Mr Donald Tsang
Chief Executive
Office of the Chief Executive - Hong Kong SAR
5th floor, Central Government offices, Main Wing
Lower Albert Rd, Hong Kong
Phone: + 852 2878 3300
Fax: + 852 2409 0577
e-mail: ceo@ceo.gov.hk

December 19, 2005

Dear Sir,

Many citizens (more than 1000) from different countries, have been
arrested by the Hong Kong authorities during the last two days, 17
and 18th of December 2005.

They were participating in the massive peaceful march organized by La
Via Campesina, an international farmers’movement. The purpose of the
march was to express the Via Campesina position with regards to the
WTO agenda.

As a result of the police intervention, many farmers and their allies
were injured and 1100 of them were arrested. They are still detained
and are not allowed any direct contact with our delegation. They are
also denied contacts with a lawyer, which is a violation of their
basic rights. We do not even know where many of them are, and it is
urgent that we are able to give information to their families and

We are extremely concerned about them, about their health and the
conditions during detention. Many of them are sick and require
medical attention. All have to fly back to their countries today.

We are therefore requesting that you implement necessary steps with
the Hong Kong Authorities to ensure their immediate and unconditional

We are confident that you do not wish to violate any universally
recognized human rights as established under the International Human
Rights Convention and meanwhile the following must be ensured: a
full list of detainees and the place of detention; that all their
physical needs be assured, that those who are sick are allowed to get
medical treatment in their own countries, and that they have access
to a lawyer and to a translator.

We reiterate that your urgent intervention is most necessary we and
ask for your written confirmation of the steps taken
(hkaction@viacampesina.org), as well as verbal contact with Indra
Lubis : 92690520 or Nico Verhagen : 60539397.

Yours Faithfully

Alberto Gomez,
International Coordination Committee of La Via Campesina