We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

Hong Kong’s National Security Promises Were All Hollow

3 0 0
23.09.2021

When the national security law was introduced in Hong Kong more than a year ago, pro-Beijing politicians assured the public it would have minimal impact.

Hong Konger Chief Executive Carrie Lam told the region’s residents that “the law will not affect Hong Kong’s renowned judicial independence. It will not affect legitimate rights and freedoms of individuals that are protected under the Basic Law and the relevant provisions of international covenants as applied to Hong Kong.”

Moreover, she added, “it will only target an extremely small minority of people who have breached the law while the life and property, basic rights, and freedoms of the overwhelming majority of Hong Kong residents will be protected.” Similarly, Zhang Xiaoming, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao affairs office, said: “The purpose is not to take the pro-democratic camp in Hong Kong as an imaginary enemy. The purpose is combating a narrow category of crimes against national security.”

When the national security law was introduced in Hong Kong more than a year ago, pro-Beijing politicians assured the public it would have minimal impact.

Hong Konger Chief Executive Carrie Lam told the region’s residents that “the law will not affect Hong Kong’s renowned judicial independence. It will not affect legitimate rights and freedoms of individuals that are protected under the Basic Law and the relevant provisions of international covenants as applied to Hong Kong.”

Moreover, she added, “it will only target an extremely small minority of people who have breached the law while the life and property, basic rights, and freedoms of the overwhelming majority of Hong Kong residents will be protected.” Similarly, Zhang Xiaoming, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao affairs office, said: “The purpose is not to take the pro-democratic camp in Hong Kong as an imaginary enemy. The purpose is combating a narrow category of crimes against national security.”

That was always an unlikely prospect, given the circumstances of the law’s introduction, as Beijing circumvented Hong Kong’s own well-established legal system to stamp down on widespread protests and pro-democratic electoral victories. And indeed, these claims proved false. Most of the charges under the law target dissent, not genuine “national security” offenses. As Georgetown University’s legal........

© Foreign Policy


Get it on Google Play