Hong Kong’s new national security law comes into force

Hong Kong's new national security law comes into force

Hong Kong, a former British colony, returned to Chinese law in 1997 with the assurance that its high degree of autonomy and rights may be protected under a “one country, two systems” method.

In recent years, some politicians and activists have been jailed or have gone into captivity, and liberal media outlets and civil society organizations have been shut down.

In a mutual declaration led by the international- based Hong Kong Democracy Council, 145 area and advocacy groups condemned the rules and called for restrictions on Hong Kong and Chinese officials involved its passage, as well as review the status of Hong Kong’s Financial &amp, Trade Offices worldwide.

” It’s time for the United States to step up for political prisoners and freedom in Hong Kong. Every time we let authoritarians get away with atrocities, we risk other bad actors attempting to do the same”, wanted Hong Kong activist Frances Hui said in Washington, during a news conference with the US Congressional- Executive Commission on China ( CECC), which advises Congress.

Chris Smith, a co- chairman of the CECC, said the Hong Kong trade offices had” simply become outposts of the Chinese Communist Party, used to engage in transnational repression”.

China defends the security crackdown as essential to restoring order after months of sometimes violent anti- government protests in 2019.

About 291 people have been arrested for national security offences, with 174 people and five companies charged so far.

Chinese authorities insist all are equal before the security laws that have restored stability, but while individual rights are respected no freedoms are absolute.

A previous attempt to pass Article 23 was scrapped in 2003 after 500, 000 people protested. This time around, public criticism has been muted amid the security crackdown.

In Taipei’s fashionable Ximending shopping district, more than a dozen Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tibet activists gathered to protest the law and shout their denunciations.

Other protests are planned in Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan and the United States.