Egregious police brutality was one of the defining features of the 2019 movement. Whether through beatings, the use of “non-lethal” munitions on protestors and journalists or deployment of teargas indoors and on the elderly, the Hong Kong Police Force demonstrated a stunning barbarity in stripping Hong Kong of its autonomy and civil liberty. Unfortunately, many of the munitions used by the Hong Kong Police Force were exported from the United States.
What we have done
The PROTECT Hong Kong Act addressed this injustice and was passed into law under the leadership of Rep. McGovern (D-MA) and Sen. Merkley (D-OR). The law prevented the export of teargas and crowd control technology to Hong Kong, but only had a duration of one year, leaving it ineffective in the long term. The Hong Kong Democracy Council successfully advocated for these provisions to be folded into the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, lengthening the effectiveness of the provisions for another year – but the original problem remained: they would have to be reimplemented every year by Congress. The Hong Kong Democracy Council advocated for inclusion of these provisions in the COMPETES Act, which would have made the provisions permanent.
What we are doing
Moving into the next Congress, the Hong Kong Democracy Council will continue to advocate for the banning of export of munitions to Hong Kong permanently through either stand alone legislation or as a compliment to a broader act. The use of American munitions on those protesting for human rights and democracy in Hong Kong is anathema to the values and policies of the United States.