Interim Leader of the Canadian Greens, Amita Kuttner, took to twitter last Wednesday, December 29th, to voice her outrage after Cantopop star and Canadian citizen Denise Ho was arrested in Hong Kong.
A long time pro-democracy and pro-LGBT activist, Ho was taken into custody on the 29th of December in a raid of pro-democracy media outlet Stand News’ offices by Chinese officials, alongside five journalists. According to the Chinese National Security Department, the purpose of the raid was to “target national security offences.”
Born in Hong Kong, but raised and educated in the Montreal area, news of Ho’s arrest sparked outrage in both of the pop stars’ home countries.
In Canada, strongly worded responses were released from all across the political spectrum.
A representative for a pro-Hong Kong student group at Montreal’s McGill University called news of the arrest “terrifying.” Meanwhile, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, Mélanie Joly, stated that the Canadian government is “deeply concerned by the arrests in Hong Kong” and is “monitoring the situation very closely.”
In similar fashion, interim Green Party ,Leader Kuttner tweeted that she was “angry” and “alarmed” by Ho’s arrest. Kuttner then called on the Canadian government to grant “consular access” to all Canadians who are politically charged in Hong Kong, in order to ensure they do not lose their rights.
Kuttner finished her statement by expressing the “critical importance” of fighting for and defending the freedom of the press all around the world.
While political figures continue to speak out from Canada, their statements seem to have little effect on the actions of the Chinese government. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, nonprofit organization that protects press freedom worldwide, in 2021 China was found to be “the worst jailer of journalists for the third year in a row.”
Ho was released on bail on December 30th, after 36 hours in custody. However, fellow Hong Kong activist and Apple News publisher Jimmy Lai was taken into custody on the same day as Ho, after being accused of “conspiracy to commit collusion with a foreign country or external elements” and charged with sedition by the Chinese government.
Lai will be remanded in custody until his hearing on February 24 2022.