Diocese opposes Hong Kong security clampdown

The Diocese of Hong Kong has signed an open letter to the Chinese government demanding that the controversial new security laws being imposed by the mainland be pulled back.

Jul 04, 2020

By Michael Sainsbury
The Diocese of Hong Kong has signed an open letter to the Chinese government demanding that the controversial new security laws being imposed by the mainland be pulled back.

The letter, which was signed by 86 human rights and social justice organisations including the diocese’s Justice and Peace Commission, was addressed to Li Zhanshu, chairman of China’s rubber-stamp National People’s Congress, nominally responsible for the law.

“We are writing to express our grave concerns regarding the recent adoption by China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) of a formal decision to directly impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. We urge the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) to reject the legislation,” the letter said.

“Although no details of the law’s contents have been made publicly available, the decision — along with recent comments by Chinese and Hong Kong officials — suggest that it will threaten the basic rights and freedoms of the people in Hong Kong. We are particularly  concerned about the law’s impact on Hong Kong, especially its vibrant civil society.”

More details of the new laws, which cover sedition, succession, terrorism and acts by foreign powers and could put Catholics, including senior clergy in danger of prosecution, were unveiled by Chinese state media at the weekend.

Fresh institutional infrastructure will be set up that will see a new top-level committee chaired by Chief Executive Carrie Lam that will contain a Beijing representative, to oversee laws that have caused widespread consternation in the city.

Authorities in Beijing scheduled a meeting of the NPCSC for June 28, the second in a week and a highly unusual move. “

… we are hard pressed to find a reason for the second NPCSC session this month other than that the NPCSC is set to approve the Hong Kong national security law by the end of the month,” stated the NPC Observer, which analyses the decisions of China’s parliament.

“The NPCSC will of course first ap prove the law some time during the upcoming three-day session. President Xi Jinping will then sign a presidential order to promulgate it, and it would at that point officially become a national law. The new law has become official on July 1, 24 years after the handover of Hong Kong by Great Britain to China.”

Some details of the new law were made public following the NPCSC meeting that concluded on June 2, but a full draft was not released. Beijing has confirmed that under the new rules it will have the authority to extradite people charged under the legislation for trial in the mainland’s opaque and brutal justice system.

A local national security commission supervised by Beijing will oversee the legislation. Hong Kong will be required to carry out most of the enforcement under the new law, but Beijing will be able to overrule local authorities in some cases. Both Beijing and the Hong Kong government continue to insist these will only be rare cases, but most observers remain unconvinced. --ucanews.com

Total Comments:0

Name
Email
Comments