WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers on Friday urged the Trump Administration to droop future gross sales of munitions and crowd-control gear to Hong Kong police which has been accused of utilizing extreme power in opposition to anti-government protesters.
FILE PHOTO: Cops hearth tear fuel at demonstrators throughout a protest in opposition to the Yuen Lengthy assaults in Yuen Lengthy, New Territories, Hong Kong, China July 27, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
A Hong Kong democracy activist, Joshua Wong, this week tweeted footage of teargas shells and rubber bullets he mentioned have been utilized by police in opposition to protesters.
Representatives Christopher Smith and James McGovern, chairs of a congressional human rights fee, made their request in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
“We ask that you just droop future gross sales of munitions and crowd and riot management gear to the Hong Kong Police Pressure and publicly announce that the U.S. won’t contribute to the interior repression of peaceable protest in Hong Kong,” they wrote.
Additionally they urged the secretaries to push again “in opposition to the Hong Kong and Chinese language governments’ efforts to characterize the demonstrations as ‘riots’ and guilty the U.S. for political instability which they alone created.”
The State Division and the Commerce Division didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
“All these weapons are imported from the US. Given the innumerable proof of police brutality in current protests, all international locations ought to name a halt to the sale of arms to the infamous Hong Kong Police,” Wong mentioned on Twitter.
1000’s of civil servants joined within the anti-government protests in Hong Kong on Friday for the primary time since they began two months in the past, defying a warning from the authorities to stay politically impartial.
Protests in opposition to a proposed invoice that will permit individuals to be extradited to face trial in mainland China have grown more and more violent, with police accused of extreme use of power and failing to guard protesters from suspected gang assaults.
The human rights fee consists of greater than 40 members of the U.S. Home of Representatives. Smith is Republican and McGovern a Democrat.
Reporting by Mohammad Zargham and Eric Beech; Modifying by Sandra Maler