The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice stands with the people of Hong Kong on the front lines of the fight for freedom & democracy.
Courageous Hong Kong democracy activists have been protesting for months against a dangerous Chinese extradition bill that would have undermined their independence and freedom. Though the bill has now been formally withdrawn, the fight is not over. Since June, thousands of protesters have been attacked and injured by police and mainland gangs and over 1,100 people have been detained. Those arrested for peacefully protesting have been charged with offenses that could put them in jail for many years.
Hong Kong Democracy protesters have won the first huge victory in the court of public opinion, but the next victories will need to be won in the courts of law.
Just a few months ago, the Lantos Foundation was proud to give our highest award to the most recognizable leader of the democracy movement – Joshua Wong. While such leadership is important, all of the brave democracy crusaders deserve more than our admiration. We must equip them to defend themselves against the crushing apparatus of the Chinese communist state. This legal defense fund aims to support Joshua and his compatriots as they defend themselves against false accusations that could land them in prison for years to come.
Our hope is that we can match their courage and determination in the form of financial support that will ensure they have fair representation. It is critical that the rule of law be upheld at this pivotal moment in Hong Kong's history. The eyes of the world may be on Hong Kong, but the eyes of history will be on those of us enjoying our own freedom and democracy - let us match our words and good wishes with the resources to defend those on the front lines of this fight for freedom.
These legal defense funds will be officially disbursed through the Lantos Foundation's Front Line Fund grant program.