(통역과 자막은 류미경 민주노총 국제국장 / 편집 등 지원 : 김광배 서인식 박자민)
미얀마, 태국, 홍콩 등에서의 민주화 시위에 대한 관심이 뜨겁다,
특히 홍콩은 중국 베이징정부의 통제에 대한 반발이 수년째 이어지고 있다. 거대한 범죄인송환법 반대투쟁을 통해 법 도입을 저지했지만 국가보안법 도입과 선거제도 개악을 통해 갈등은 더 심화되고 있는 상황이다.
이런 상황에서 홍콩노총의 총비서 리첵얀 선생을 인터뷰했다.
리첵얀(LEE CHEUK YAN) 선생은 홍콩 노동운동의 베테랑 활동가이며 현재 홍콩노총의 총비서(사무총장 격)이며홍콩 노동당(홍콩공당)의 부대표이다. 또 전 입법위원(홍콩의 국회의원)이기도 하다.
그는 80년대부터 노동운동과 홍콩노총 건설에 앞장섰으며 2019년의 범죄인송환법 반대 투쟁과 국가보안법 반대, 선거제 개악에 대한 반대 투쟁에서 주도적인 역할을 하기도 했다. 최근 그는 9명의 저명한 홍콩 활동가들과 함께 2019년 수백만명이 참가한 송환법 반대 투쟁을 이끌었다는 이유로 기소되어 4월 1일 재판에서 유죄를 선고받았다. 4월 중순 최종 형량이 확정되면 구속될 가능성이 높다. 이 인터뷰는 4월 1일 재판을 앞둔 3월 31일 온라인으로 진행되었다.
아래는 그가 기소되어 받고 있는 4월 7일의 또 다른 재판 때 제출한 리첵얀 선생의 진술문이다.
Submission of Lee Cheuk Yan for Mitigation
Your Honour, I plead guilty but I’ve done no wrong in affirming the rights of people to peaceful procession and I believe history will absolve me. May I give you more on my background so as your honour can understand why I decided to march with the people for the future of Hong Kong.
As a Christian, during Easter when the scripture was read, I was reminded how Christ went to meet his fate on the cross, sacrificing for mankind to reconcile sinners with God. From His arrest to his prosecution to his death sentencing by Pilate, he was a political prisoner who committed no crime apart from seen to be a threat to the Jewish Hierarchy by serving the poor and oppressed and preaching the good news.
Throughout history of mankind, the rights that humankind now enjoyed were pioneered by political prisoners from Gandhi to Martin Luther King to Nelson Mandela. I was the Chairman of Hong Kong anti apartheid movement back in the 80s and I always remember the determination of Nelson Mandela when he said during his trial back in 1963: “an ideal for which I am prepared to die for.”. His ideal was the equality for black South African and then he spent 27 years in jail. I was thrilled that in 1994, he was elected President of South Africa, giving hope to oppressed all over the world that justice can be achieve through the persistent struggle of the people.
I went to length about his inspiration to me personally because I started my activism starting 1978 for labour rights and democracy. My lifetime ideal is the empowerment of the poor and oppressed to speak out, to rise up for their rights. Whenever the oppressed assert their rights to fight for their dignity, I feel myself also empowered and inspired to continue the difficult struggle and challenges facing Hong Kong. I asked myself, what is my life without the struggle. The struggle is my life, I cannot imagine my life without it. It had been forty three years of struggle for me and your Honour must understand my deep felt pain and sufferings to see how the State Power had been using brute force against the people and the sacrifices of so many Hongkongers who were injured, jailed or exiled, also to witness the deprivation of the basic rights of the people and the regression in democracy. I saw my ideal crumbling but I will continue the struggle even though darkness is surrounding us. It is an ideal for which I am prepared for any sanction.
Your Honour may say the law is the law, I seems not show any remorse in breaching law in this trial for August 31st. I hope Your Honour understand the utmost importance I put on the rights to freedom of expression through speech or assembly. This is the only avenue the weak and oppressed can have to right the wrongs on them. If deprived, I will call this systemic violence on the people and I do not want to see Hong Kong rule on the basis of such systemic violence. Therefore I would do my utmost to affirm the rights of people to a dignified and peaceful procession to express themselves.
Your Honour must be passionate about upholding the law and I respect your ideal. I hope I can quote from the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
“Justices continue to think and can change. I am ever hopeful that if the court has a blind spot today, its eye will be open tomorrow”
I was very impressed with her passion for gender equality and how she fought her whole life for gender equality and was able to achieve so much. Her message was time changes and judges should catch up with time. For Hong Kong, the worst may yet to come, and we need the legal profession to open their eyes to the suffering of the people and reflect on which side the law is with and how to changes with time for the advancement of the rights and dignity of the people.
I humbly submit myself to your sentencing and whatever your sentence, I have no regret for standing up for the rights of the people.