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Hong Kong's national security crackdown

Written by Subject: China

June 30th 2020, CNN

"Beijing imposed a wide-reaching national security law on Hong Kong on Tuesday, which many fear could be used to override existing legal processes and erode the city's civil and political freedoms.

The stringent national security law and its 66 articles were kept secret from the public until 11pm local time, when the law officially went into effect. It dramatically broadens Beijing's powers to investigate, prosecute and punish suspected criminals in Hong Kong.

The law was drafted behind closed doors by members of Beijing's top lawmaking body, the National People's Congress (NPC), bypassing Hong Kong's own elected legislative council.

The new legislation criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign powers. People who are convicted of such crimes can face sentences up to life in prison.

Under the new law, the Chinese central government will establish its own law enforcement presence in Hong Kong, labeled the "Office for Safeguarding National Security." A secretive national security committee for Hong Kong will also be established, comprised of Hong Kong government officials and an advisor appointed by the Chinese central government. According to a summary published by the Hong Kong government, this group's work "shall not be disclosed to the public," and "decisions by the Committee shall not be amenable to judicial review.""



Four years later:


"Secretary for Security Chris Tang defended the move, denying that it violated a UN human rights treaty that protects people's freedom of movement. However, the UK, the US and Australia expressed concern over the cancelled passports, with British minister of state for the Indo-Pacific region, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, calling it the "latest regrettable decision from Hong Kong authorities.""

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