ATTAC Germany demands release of 14 HK protesters

Original Publication Date: 
8 January, 2006

ATTAC Germany, a globalisation critical network has demanded, in a public letter to the Chinese Embassy, the dropping of all charges against the 14 demonstrators arrested during the protests at the WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong last month.

"We are very concerned about the situation of our friends being detained in Hong Kong" says Hanni Gramann from the ATTAC working group on World-trade and WTO. " These people belong to the small farmers and factory workers, who are suffering the most under the senseless undertaking "`Free Trade` at any price" . International protest against global institutions such as the WTO should not be prevented by unjust measures by the police."

In Hong Kong on the 17th December the police undertook mass arrests after some protesters from international farmers unions tried to break through the police barriers in order to reach the WTO convention centre. At some points more than 1,000 people were being held, some suffering under inhumane conditions. 14 of these people were charged with "illegal assembly". World-wide solidarity actions, including an international protest in front of the WTO in Geneva tomorrow, are now taking place as the 14 face a court case on the 12th of January.

12 of the 14 began a hunger strike on the 5th of January. And have written in their public statement " We wanted to publicise that there is an alternative voice, alternative to the myth that 'free trade' and globalisation are the only hopes available to the people.