A controversial national security law imposed by China on Hong Kong has come into effect, and the maximum sentence is imposed for crimes of splitting the country, inciting rebellion and colluding with foreign forces.
Beijing said that the law is necessary to deal with separatism and foreign interference, but critics worry that the bill will be approved within a record time and will not be published until it is passed on Tuesday, which will ban dissidents and Undermine the autonomy that Hong Kong promised when it was founded. He returned to China from the UK in 1997.
About 40 days after the central government proposed the bill in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the controversial law.
It takes effect at 1
The new power system has fundamentally reorganized the relationship between Beijing and Hong Kong and overturned the legal firewall that exists between Beijing’s independent judiciary and the Mainland’s controlling party courts.
It authorizes China to establish a national security agency in the city, and its personnel are composed of officials who are not subject to local laws when performing their duties.
It prohibits four types of national security crimes: subversion, division of the country, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security.
The full text of the law gives three situations that China can prosecute: complex foreign interference cases, “very serious” cases, and “serious and realistic threats” to national security.
The law said: “Both the National Security Agency and Hong Kong can request that the case be transferred to mainland China, the prosecution will be conducted by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and the trial will be conducted in the Supreme Court.”
It said: “Whether using violence or threats of violence, leaders or serious criminals will be sentenced to life imprisonment or at least 10 years in prison.”
It added: “The Hong Kong government has no jurisdiction over Hong Kong’s national security agencies and their staff when performing their duties under this law.”
The text also clearly states that those who destroy government facilities and public utilities will be considered disruptive. The destruction of public transportation facilities and arson will constitute “terrorist” behavior. Anyone participating in separatist activities, whether organized or participating, will violate the law, regardless of the use of violence.
The law also says that certain national security cases that contain state secrets can be kept secret in Hong Kong without a jury, although the verdict and final verdict will be made public.
After the law was passed, famous Hong Kong democracy movement figures Huang Zongze, Jay Chou and Luo Dazhao issued a statement on Facebook, saying that they would withdraw from the democracy movement organization Demosisto.
Huang said that “worrying about life and safety” has become a real problem. Whether it is extradition to China or facing long-term imprisonment, no one can anticipate the impact of the law.
He said the legislation marked “the end of Hong Kong that the world knew before.” He added: “From now on, Hong Kong has entered a new era of terror rule. With the proliferation of power and the unclear laws, the city will turn into a state of secret police.”
Then, Demosisto announced on Facebook that it would be disbanded, saying that losing a senior member made it difficult to continue.
Al Jazeera’s Katrina Yu reported in Beijing that he pointed out that the passage of the law is fast.
She said: “This is very symbolic. The law was passed the day before the anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China.” “It seems that Beijing told the people that China is ultimately responsible for Hong Kong affairs and led by China. People will take all measures they deem necessary to protect Hong Kong.”
China announced a legislative plan on the eve of the National People’s Congress last month, and the country has been protesting for nearly a year.
The security bill injected new impetus into the protests. As the coronavirus pandemic made it more difficult to hold mass gatherings, the protests subsided and sparked condemnation from countries including the United Kingdom and the United States.
On Tuesday, more than 100 protesters gathered in a shopping mall in Hong Kong’s central business district, shouting slogans, including “Free Hong Kong, now a revolution.” Several of them held a flag representing an independent Hong Kong and posters condemning the law .
The militants called for a new protest on July 1, although the police said that due to the coronavirus, the rally could not happen. It is expected that about 4,000 police officers will be on standby when the official ceremony will be held on Wednesday.
Al Jazeera’s Adrian Brown reported from Hong Kong that he said the atmosphere in the city was dark.
The passage of this law “has a direct and chilling effect. We took to the streets at lunchtime and talked to ordinary people at lunchtime in an attempt to assess their opinions, and none of them wanted to comment-this is very much in Hong Kong Unusual,” he said.
“People will now vote with their feet and leave in groups.”
Relevant authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly stated that this legislation is aimed at a small number of “troublemakers” and will not affect rights and freedoms or the interests of investors.
Hong Kong leader Lin Zhengyue spoke to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva via a video link. He said the law would fill a “gap” and would not harm Hong Kong’s autonomy or independent judiciary.
Lin said that Hong Kong “was traumatized by escalating violence from outside forces” and added: “No central government can turn a blind eye to this threat to sovereignty and national security.”
Tan Yaozong, the only representative of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of Hong Kong, said: “We hope this law will serve as a deterrent to prevent people from creating trouble.” Tan Yaozong approved the law on Tuesday morning.
He said: “Don’t let Hong Kong become a tool to split the country.”
This legislation further promoted the conflict between Beijing and the governments of the United States, Britain and other Western countries, which eroded the high degree of autonomy that Beijing granted to it during the handover.
Washington has traded with Beijing, the South China Sea and the new coronavirus have disputed, and the country began canceling Hong Kong’s special status under US law on Monday, stopping exports of defense products and restricting access to technology.
At the same time, in a joint statement from 27 countries including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan, China must reconsider the law that “undermines” Hong Kong’s freedom.
Julian Braithwaite, the British ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, read out the statement of the UN Human Rights Council on behalf of all signatories.
The statement said that these 27 countries have “increasingly concerned” about the new “Security Law.” The new “Security Law” has a clear impact on the human rights of the people of Hong Kong.
The signatory states said that implementing the law without the direct participation of the people of Hong Kong, the legislature or the judiciary would “undermine” the principle of “one country, two systems” that guarantees Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, rights and freedoms.
The statement said: “We urge the governments of China and Hong Kong to reconsider the implementation of this legislation and cooperate with the people, institutions and judiciary of Hong Kong to prevent further damage to the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong for many years.” said.
Signatories include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and 15 EU countries including the Netherlands and Sweden.
China has chosen to violate its commitment to the people of Hong Kong and their obligations to the international community.
🇬🇧 will not refuse our commitment to the people of Hong Kong. pic.twitter.com/ir19ghzq28
-Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) June 30, 2020
Earlier on Tuesday, the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called passing the law a “serious step” and then tweeted: “China chose its promise to the people of Hong Kong and violated their The obligation of the people. The international community. Britain will not refuse our commitment to the people of Hong Kong.”
Japan called the move “sad”, and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen expressed “very disappointed” with the result. Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said that the EU expressed “regret” for the decision.
Joshua Rosenzweig, the head of Amnesty International China, said Beijing’s “goal is to rule Hong Kong through fear from now on.”
China has screamed loudly and condemned the “interference” in internal affairs.