Press Release: Human Rights Under Threat in Hong Kong

Recently, Hong Kong has seen numerous mass protests of hundreds of thousands in opposition to the extradition bill.Largely peaceful protestors were met with the dangerous firing of rubber bullets, inappropriate use of pepper spray, and beatings of protestors who did not resist [1].

The use of force disproportionate to the seriousness of the offence cause unnecessary injuries and are clear breaches of articles 9 and 10 of the United Nations’ Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials [2].

We note incidents where ambulances are delayed from reaching hospitals, and patients being interrogated in the emergency room or have their personal information being leaked to non-healthcare workers, eventually leading to their arrest. These acts interfere with the timely delivery of care, and deter injured persons from seeking care or giving truthful accounts to healthcare professionals, ultimately infringing upon their right to receive quality care.

IFMSA strongly condemns any acts that endanger the health and safety of others, breach basic human rights and patients’ privacy, or violate the right to access healthcare.

Thus, the Federation would like to call on multiple stakeholders to stand in unity with the victims of Hong Kong whose rights are at stake.

The Federation would like to call on all governments to not only commit to abiding by the United Nations’ Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials but also to hold perpetrators accountable, in addition to investigating and transparently reporting on all occasions of inappropriate firearm use in accordance with principles 22 and 24.

Over and above, the Federation would like to emphasize the importance of working with healthcare institutions to ensure that personal data are sufficiently protected against unauthorised or accidental access, and ensure employees’ strict adherence to a confidential data collection policy. It is also pivotal to call on health workers to abide by the Hippocratic oath, to never refuse to provide healthcare, remain impartial, and uphold medical ethics in addition to the preservation of patient’s confidentiality.

Lastly, the Federation would like to call on its National Member Organizations and the global community to stand in solidarity with the victims of human rights violations in Hong Kong, and seek to advocate for human rights and accountability in this matter.


[1] Amnesty International. (2019, June 21). Evidence of Hong Kong police violence verified. Retrieved from

[2] The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. (1990). Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms. Retrieved from

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