China’s national security law for Hong Kong will put everybody in the city at risk of arbitrary detention and unfair trial unless underpinned by measures to guarantee protection of human rights, Amnesty International said today as Beijing lawmakers prepare to adopt the dangerous legislation.
Chinese authorities are expected to vote through the law at the upcoming National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) extraordinary session – which runs from today until Tuesday 30 June – despite having not yet publicly disclosed its full details.
“Hong Kong stands at the cliff-edge of an uncertain and unsettling future, its freedoms threatened by national security legislation that could override the laws currently protecting the city’s inhabitants from the worst excesses of state-sponsored repression.”Joshua Rosenzweig, head of Amnesty International’s China Team.
“The Chinese government must abandon plans to pass a national security law for Hong Kong unless it can provide water-tight guarantees that the legislation conforms with human rights in all aspects.”
Security agencies pave way for police state Under the national security law, all individuals, institutions and organizations in Hong Kong would be prohibited from “engaging in activities that endanger national security”. The NPCSC looks set to adopt it in its current session, without public consultation.
Amnesty International has a range of human rights concerns about the proposed law. Not least that it would authorize the Beijing central government and the Hong Kong government to set up a national security office in the city.