How Hong Kong may become just another silenced Chinese city

By Douglas Kong* The common understanding of Hong Kong after the 1997 handover is that it is governed as a Special Administrative Region...


By Douglas Kong*

The common understanding of Hong Kong after the 1997 handover is that it is governed as a Special Administrative Region of China, with a high degree of autonomy under the territory’s mini-constitution, known as the Basic Law.

China may be an authoritarian regime, but under the One Country, Two Systems principle, Hong Kong should retain its civil liberties and way of life after the handover and residents should continue to enjoy the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Basic Law.

Photo: GovHK.

All of these are now in question, after China imposed the wide-ranging national security law (NSL) on Hong Kong, overriding the city’s independent legal system, local legislature and even the Basic Law.

Major offences under the NSL – “secession,” “subversion,” “terrorist activities” and “collusion with a foreign country” – are ambiguously worded and lack clear guidelines. Authorities are granted massive power to target and persecute dissidents. The encroachment on civil liberties, such as freedom of speech, of the press, and of association – protected by Article 27 of the Basic Law – is completely disproportionate.

Many provisions of the NSL are in clear violation of fundamental human rights. Refusing to grant bail unless a court has sufficient grounds for doing so renders the law inconsistent with the presumption of innocence and presumption of bail, as enshrined in Article 87 of the Basic Law and Article 11 (1) of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights.

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Newsrust: How Hong Kong may become just another silenced Chinese city
How Hong Kong may become just another silenced Chinese city
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https://www.newsrust.com/2020/09/how-hong-kong-may-become-just-another.html
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