Does China’s new restrictive security law end Hong Kong’s freedom?
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What is it?
- On July 1, 2020 Beijing imposed a new National Security Law (NSL) on Hong Kong which effectively ends the Special Administrative Region’s sovereignty. This date also marks the 23-year anniversary of Britain’s handover of Hong Kong to China, dictated by the principle of “Two systems, one government”.
- The NSL specifically bans subversion, sedition, terrorism and collusion but these terms can be interpreted broadly and used to quash freedom of speech, assembly and the right to protest the government. Any of these acts to “undermine the Communist Party’s Authority” are punishable by life imprisonment, in serious cases.
Why is it important?
- The NSL went into effect on Tuesday night as Hong Kong Police officers began to arrest pro-democracy demonstrators under the new law and used tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons to disperse protests.
- Unfortunately, in response many activists have deleted their social media accounts and disbanded opposition parties. This is the exact effect Beijing was hoping to have – scaring advocates of democracy and freedom into submission.
- The NSL also attacks pro-democracy foreign organizations and journalists by setting standards similar to what exists in mainland China. Article 38 of the law also allows for it to be applied "outside the region to a person who is not a permanent resident of the region" implying that even foreign entities and news organizations are at risk.
What can you do?
- Get more informed on what is going on in Hong Kong from NPR or the Council on Foreign Relations.
- Sign the petition to Condemn HK Police for Excessive Force against Citizens
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