Police in Hong Kong on Sunday charged 47 former democracy activists with conspiracy to subvert state power under a draconian national security law imposed by China last year.
The 47 charged on Sunday were among more than 50 people arrested in January. Those arrests drew outrage in the West, with governments accusing Beijing of violating the Sino-British Joint Declaration that underpinned the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China.
In a statement, the EU condemned the charges, calling them a matter “of great concern.”
“The nature of these charges makes clear that legitimate political pluralism will no longer be tolerated in Hong Kong,” Nabila Massrali, a European Commission spokeswoman, said in the statement.
“The EU urges Hong Kong and Beijing authorities to abide by their commitments to fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, as enshrined in the Basic Law and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The EU calls for the immediate release of those arrested,” the statement said.
Stuart Lau contributed reporting.