An appeal to G20 leaders to act on Hong Kong’s extradition law crisis has appeared in over 10 international newspapers on Friday, as the leaders’ summit gets underway.

The full-page black and white ads calling on readers “Stand with Hong Kong at G20” have appeared alongside an open letter in leading publications including The New York Times in the US, The Guardian in the UK, Japan Times in Japan, The Globe and Mail in Canada, Süddeutsche Zeitung in Germany, and The Chosun Ilbo in South Korea.

Freedom Hong Kong
Full page ads and open letters from Freedom Hong Kong in the UK’s The Guardian (left) and Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung (right).

The open letter called on G20 leaders to voice concerns about Hong Kong’s freedoms at the leaders’ summit, urging them to encourage the city’s government to withdraw the controversial extradition bill, conduct an independent investigation into alleged police brutality on June 12, and release all detained protesters.

The appeal was funded by a crowdfunding campaign that raised over HK$5 million through public donations. The fundraiser reached its original HK$3 million target within hours on Tuesday, through the contributions of 20,000 donors.

Hong Kong has been rocked by a series of protests over legal amendments proposed in February, which would allow the city to handle case-by-case extradition requests from jurisdictions with no prior agreements – most notably, China.

The legal amendments would enable the chief executive and local courts to handle extradition requests without legislative oversight, though critics from across sectors have raised concerns over the risk of residents being extradited to the mainland, which lacks human rights protections. The bill was suspended on June 15, but not withdrawn.

Donald Trump g20 osaka
US President Donald Trump arrives at the 2019 G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. Photo: The White House via Flickr.

The G20 summit is taking place in Osaka, Japan between Friday and Saturday, and will see world leaders from the European Union and 19 countries with the largest economies convene to discuss pressing financial and economic issues. Chinese President Xi Jinping is among those attending.

”In full: An open letter from Hong Kong citizens to the international community – Click to view“

28 June 2019

Dear readers,

We were among the two million Hongkongers that took to the streets. We now ask you to join our fight in defending our freedoms and autonomy.

Reneging on its promise of “One Country, Two Systems”, Beijing has been relentlessly imposing its authoritarian rule on Hong Kong. Most recently, the Hong Kong Government proposed a Bill that would allow anyone to be extradited to China, a country infamous for its disrespect for the rule of law. This would threaten our fundamental freedoms and affect international businesses in Hong Kong.

We took to the streets after the police used excessive violence against peaceful protestors whom the government denounced as “rioters”. Violating international law, the police attacked journalists, shot protestors in the face with rubber bullets, and tear-gassed authorized protest areas.

We do NOT succumb to any violence used by our Government and we do NOT accept a mere suspension of the Bill. We urge our Government to immediately agree to our following demands:

  1. Withdrawal of the Bill;
  2. Unconditional release of all arrested protestors without the threat of future prosecution;
  3. Renunciation of the characterization of the June 12 protests as “riots”;
  4. Appointment of an independent commission to inquire into the excessive violence used by the police in the protests; and
  5. Most importantly, universal suffrage to elect a truly democratic government.

The upcoming G20 Summit will be a key opportunity for the world to bring our demands to the table. We implore you to deliver our concerns to your governments. Please stand with us in safeguarding Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy against China’s oppression.

Thank you.

Yours truly,


But Beijing has said that it will not allow discussion of the Hong Kong issue during the G20 summit.

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang warned foreign countries on Wednesday against interfering with its internal affairs.

YouTube video

“China will certainly not agree to G20 discussing Hong Kong affairs. This is entirely China’s internal affair,” he said.

The Hong Kong Free Press #PressForFreedom 2019 Funding Drive seeks to raise HK$1.2m to support our non-profit newsroom and dedicated team of multi-media, multi-lingual reporters. HKFP is backed by readers, run by journalists and is immune to political and commercial pressure. This year’s critical fundraiser will provide us with the essential funds to continue our work into next year.

funding drive press for freedom

Jennifer Creery is a Hong Kong-born British journalist, interested in minority rights and urban planning. She holds a BA in English at King's College London and has studied Mandarin at National Taiwan University.