Pillar of shame: Statement from the Czech NGO DAI, in response to the attack
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I have just received this statement from the Czech NGO DAI, in response to the attack by the Hong Kong government and police on the organization's support for the Danish artwork "The pillar of Shame".
The 8 meter high sculpture was erected in Hong Kong in June 1997 and after 25 years of exhibition was brutally taken down on Christmas night 2021 and then kidnapped by the University of Hong Kong and now. 6 May 2023 has been seized by the police as evidence against the Democracy Movement in Hong Kong.
I am attaching a PDF with an overview of articles in the press on the subject, it is not particularly up to date.
Sincerely, Jens Galschiøt
HK Gov Press Release:
Official Statement of NGO DEI:
Today, May 6, 2023, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region issued a news release about the Police operation on the seizure of the Pillar of Shame yesterday in which the Security Bureau accused our organization (NGO DEI) of attempting "to make misleading comments and request for the return of the exhibit under the guise of artistic freedom" The accusation is not only absurd but also a threat to artistic freedom and an infringement on it.
We (NGO DEI) hereby declare that the government is not only limiting the freedom of artists but also setting a new low point for freedom in Hong Kong. Hong Kong should be a culturally diverse and open place that respects artistic freedom, and protecting freedom of speech has always been a core value of Hong Kong people. The right to express oneself without any restrictions to reflect the diversity of society is not only the right of artists but also the right of Hong Kong citizens.
The government should not limit artistic freedom and should not use the National Security Law to arbitrarily restrict the freedom of speech of Hong Kong people. The Security Bureau emphasized that Article 4 of the Hong Kong National Security Law stipulates that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region should respect and protect human rights in safeguarding national security, and protect the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents in accordance with the law. However, in balancing the so-called maintenance of national security and the protection of human rights, the Hong Kong government has clearly ignored the importance of the latter, excessively restricting freedom of creation and expression. We (NGO DEI) urge the Hong Kong government to reflect on what "the Hong Kong law enforcement agencies are duty-bound to", and hope that they will "uphold" the "justice" they should have.
Loretta Lau (Director of NGO DEI)
INFO AND CONTACT
NGO DAI can be contacted at:
Name: Loretta Lau (Director of NGO DEI)
Whatsapp call/text: +420 606125 203
Contact jens Galschiøt tel. +45 40447058
HK Gov Press Release:
SB strongly condemns organisation for making gravely unfounded allegations against Police's action
The Security Bureau today (May 6) strongly condemned an organisation for making gravely unfounded allegations against Police operation in collecting evidence.
The National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force yesterday (May 5) conducted searches with a warrant and seized an exhibit related to an "incitement to subversion" case under the National Security Law. The Hong Kong law enforcement agencies are duty-bound to bring to justice people and entities acting in violation of the laws of Hong Kong, including the National Security Law. The Police's actions sought to uphold justice. All law enforcement actions taken by Hong Kong law enforcement agencies are based on evidence and strictly in accordance with the law in respect of the acts of the persons or entities concerned, and have nothing to do with their political stance, background or occupation.
"We must point out that regarding the case concerned involving the present evidence collection, investigation has all along been on-going. To collect evidence following progress of investigation to take forward the relevant case is legal, reasonable and rational. The organisation concerned attempted to make misleading comments and request for the return of the exhibit under the guise of artistic freedom, and unreasonably condemned and maliciously smeared the lawful enforcement actions of the Police, absolutely defying the law and disregarding the rule of law," a spokesman of the Security Bureau said.
The spokesman added, "Article 4 of the National Security Law clearly stipulates that human rights shall be respected and protected in safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and that the rights and freedoms which the residents of Hong Kong enjoy under the Basic Law and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as applied to Hong Kong, shall be protected in accordance with the law. Nonetheless, such rights and freedoms are not absolute."
The spokesman reiterated that "the HKSAR Government carries out its duties and obligations to safeguard national security in accordance with the law. It safeguards national sovereignty, security and development interests while protecting in accordance with the law the rights and freedoms that the residents of Hong Kong enjoy. The HKSAR Government will continue to handle the case concerned in accordance with the law. The organisation concerned should immediately stop making unfounded allegations."
Ends/Saturday, May 6, 2023
Issued at HKT 13:37