Hong Kong labour organizations are calling for the release of labour activist Meng Han, who will stand trial on November 3 because he is “suspected of assembling a crowd to disturb social order”. Meng Han was arrested on December 3, 2015 together with three other labour activists. All had been involved, or were still involved, in the Panyu Workers’ Centre. They assisted workers in Guangdong with disputes about wages and benefits.
Meng Han is currently the only one still awaiting trial. The other activists were put on trial on September 26, 2016. The court ruled them guilty of the same charge as Meng Han and all were sentenced to imprisonment of 1,5 to 3 years. However, there are indications that Meng Han will face a heavier sentence, given that his case was separated from the three other activists’ cases.
Meng was repeatedly denied access to a lawyer during his detention, and his family was harassed to the point where Meng’s parents had to leave their home. Hong Kong labour organizations are demanding the following:
1. Immediately drop all political suppression against labour NGOs and charges against labor activists, release Meng Han now!
2. Protect Meng Han’s right to a fair trial in accordance with international conventions and domestic laws!
3. Curb the power abuse of public departments.
Their full statement can be found in the attachment to the right of this news message.
Update November 4: Meng Han pleaded guilty to the charges and has been sentenced to a prison term of one year and nine months. According to the Human Rights Campaign in China, his parents were pressured by the State Security Police to persuade their son to plead guilty. Read more here.