A demonstrator holds a sign reading “Back away slowly” to encourage other demonstrators to leave, near the Chinese Liaison Office in Hong Kong, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. Protesters turned Hong Kong streets into rivers of umbrellas Sunday as they marched through heavy rain from a packed park and filled a major road in the Chinese territory, where mass pro-democracy demonstrations have become a regular weekend activity this summer. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

A demonstrator holds a sign reading “Back away slowly” to encourage other demonstrators to leave, near the Chinese Liaison Office in Hong Kong, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. Protesters turned Hong Kong streets into rivers of umbrellas Sunday as they marched through heavy rain from a packed park and filled a major road in the Chinese territory, where mass pro-democracy demonstrations have become a regular weekend activity this summer. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is condemning violence in Hong Kong as tension escalates between pro-democracy protesters and police.

She made the remarks in a joint statement issued Saturday with her counterpart in the European Union, Federica Mogherini.

The statement says that both Canada and the EU support Hong Kong’s “high degree of autonomy” within China, as well as its residents’ right to peaceful assembly.

But they are urging restraint in the wake of “a rising number of unacceptable violent incidents.”

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region as some residents accuse the Communist Party-ruled Chinese government of chipping away at Hong Kong’s democratic rights.

The statement from Freeland and Mogherini calls for “broad-based and inclusive dialogue, involving all key stakeholders.”

READ MORE: Canadians warned to be cautious about travelling to Hong Kong

The Canadian Press


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