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Hong Kong to introduce law on new ‘national security’ offenses

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The drastic national security law was imposed in June 2020 in Hong Kong. This Wednesday, the government will present a text which will include new offenses and aims in particular to prohibit foreign political organizations from carrying out political activities in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong government will introduce legislation that will include new “national security” offenses, the Chief Executive announced on Wednesday at the first session of the Legislative Council reserved for “patriots”. Carrie Lam has indicated that her government intends to pass, in addition to the current law imposed in 2020 by Beijing on secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers, a local law including some forty other offenses against national security.

A drastic and very vague law

The head of the executive did not specify these new offenses but indicated that they will be in accordance with article 23 of the “Basic Law”, mini-Constitution of the theoretically semi-autonomous city. This article 23 deals with “treason, secession, sedition (and) subversion”. It also seeks to prohibit foreign political organizations from carrying out political activities in Hong Kong and local political organizations from having links with foreign political bodies.

The drastic national security law was imposed in June 2020 by Beijing on Hong Kong in response to massive and often violent pro-democracy protests. Drafted very vaguely, it makes it illegal to express almost any form of dissent and has reshaped the legal landscape of a territory once considered a bastion of freedoms.

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