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Hong Kong passes controversial safety legislation which grants authorities extra energy to quash dissent | World Information

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Hong Kong’s parliament has unanimously handed a brand new safety legislation which grants the federal government extra energy to quash dissent.

The brand new laws threatens sentences of as much as life in jail for offences together with treason and rebellion, in addition to stringent penalties for different offences akin to sabotage, exterior interference and theft of state secrets and techniques.

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, which is filled with Beijing loyalists, says the brand new legislation goals to guard nationwide safety.

Nonetheless, the transfer is broadly seen as the most recent step in a sweeping political crackdown following large-scale 2019 road protests that challenged China’s rule over the semi-autonomous territory.

Critics worry the brand new laws – an growth on the controversial imposition of the 2019 Beijing’s Nationwide Safety Regulation – will additional erode civil liberties that Xi Jinping’s authorities promised to protect for 50 years when the previous British colony returned to Chinese language rule in 1997.

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Amnesty International described the passing of the brand new laws – named Article 23 – as a “crushing blow to human rights within the metropolis”.

“The passing of Article 23 sends the clearest message but that the Hong Kong authorities’ starvation to accommodate Beijing’s will outstrips any previous commitments on human rights,” the group stated.

‘Far-reaching implications’

In the meantime, UK International Secretary, Lord Cameron, stated the brand new legislation would have “far-reaching implications” on the rights and freedoms of these residing and dealing in Hong Kong.

“The general affect of Hong Kong’s new nationwide safety legislation is that it’s going to additional injury the rights and freedoms loved within the metropolis,” he stated in a press release.

“It undermines Hong Kong’s implementation of binding worldwide obligations together with the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Worldwide Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

“I urge the Hong Kong authorities to respect the rights and freedoms enshrined within the Primary Regulation, uphold its excessive diploma of autonomy and the rule of legislation and act in accordance with its worldwide commitments and authorized obligations.”

Nathan Regulation, an activist and politician from Hong Kong who now lives in London, advised Sky Information: “This nationwide safety legislation will solely be extra suppressive and making the entire system extra draconian.”

Mr Regulation stated the Hong Kong authorities had “wholesale adopted the understanding of the PRC, which see the world as stuffed with hostile forces… how will you say Hong Kong continues to be liberal below that lens wanting into the world?”

A display shows the vote depend after the third studying of Article 23. Pic: AP

Opposition silenced

Hong Kong’s legislature handed the Safeguarding Nationwide Safety Invoice throughout a particular session on Tuesday.

It comes on prime of an identical legislation imposed by Beijing 4 years in the past, which has already largely silenced opposition voices within the metropolis.

After the vote, Hong Kong chief John Lee introduced on the council’s chamber that the legislation would take impact on 23 March.

Legislative Council President Andrew Leung stated: “I absolutely agree with what the Chief Govt stated: the earlier the laws is accomplished, the earlier nationwide safety shall be safeguarded.

“With the passage of the Safeguarding Nationwide Safety Invoice, we can successfully safeguard nationwide safety, permitting Hong Kong to maneuver ahead with out worries or burdens, and concentrate on growing the financial system and bettering folks’s livelihoods.

“Collectively, we are going to make Hong Kong a extra affluent and higher dwelling for everybody.”

Officers have insisted that the brand new safety laws balances safety with safeguarding rights and freedoms and that it’s needed to forestall a recurrence of protests.

FILE - Protesters deface the Hong Kong logo at the Legislative Council to protest against the extradition bill in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019. A Hong Kong court sentenced 12 people Saturday, March 16, 2024 to prison over the storming of the city...s legislative council building at the height of the anti-government protests in 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)
Protesters deface the Hong Kong emblem on the Legislative Council in the course of the 2019 protests. Pic: AP

Anti-government demonstrators raise their hands as they walk past shops during a protest in Sheung Shui shopping mall in Hong Kong, China, December 28, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Anti-government demonstrators increase their palms throughout a protest in Sheung Shui shopping center, Hong Kong, in December 2019. Pic: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

Learn extra from Sky Information:
TikTok CEO appeals to users directly to oppose potential US ban
UK university staff ‘caving into demands from Chinese students’

Town’s authorities says the brand new legislation will solely have an effect on “an especially small minority” of disloyal residents.

Each the Chinese language and Hong Kong governments say the preliminary Beijing-imposed nationwide safety legislation restored stability after the 2019 protests.

Nonetheless, town’s political scene has modified dramatically since, with many main activists both being prosecuted or looking for refuge overseas.

Influential pro-democracy media shops akin to Apple Every day and Stand Information have additionally been shuttered.

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