Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Hong Kong’s National Security Law “destroyed” freedom: an amnesty | Human Rights News

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Human rights organizations said that the laws imposed by Beijing put Hong Kong on the road to becoming a police state and created a “human rights emergency.”

Amnesty International said in a report released on Tuesday that the Hong Kong authorities are using China’s national security law implemented a year ago to suppress legitimate dissent, “destroy” Hong Kong’s freedom and create an atmosphere of fear.

Generalized National Security Law (NSL) Punishment is regarded as activities of subversion, terrorism, collusion with foreign powers and secession, and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

China and Hong Kong stated that after democratic protests in 2019 sometimes turned into violence, the legislation is necessary to restore stability in the semi-autonomous territory, and only a few people will be affected.

But in its report, in the name of national security, the amnesty stated that since the NSL came into effect, at least 118 people have been arrested for NSL. The government “continues to arrest and accuse individuals under NSL simply because they have exercised their freedom of speech, The right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association”.

Most of those arrested are democracy activists and politicians, including a group arrested for crime Organization primary election Choose your own candidates for the postponed Legislative Council election. In November last year, four pro-democracy members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council were cancelled their seats in the parliamentary council-accused of “Endanger national security‘.

Yamini Mishra, Director of Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Region, said in a statement: “Within one year, the National Security Law put Hong Kong on a fast track to become a police country and provides a great opportunity for those living there. People have created a human rights emergency.

“From politics to culture, from education to media, the law has infected all aspects of Hong Kong society and created an atmosphere of fear, forcing residents to think twice about what they say, their tweets and their lifestyle.

“Ultimately, this comprehensive and repressive legislation may turn this city into a human rights wasteland that increasingly resembles mainland China.”

Media mogul Li Zhiying was initially granted bail pending trial, but the court overturned the decision in December and sent him back to prison [File: Tyrone Siu/Reuters]

The Amnesty International report is based on an analysis of court judgments, court hearings, and interviews with activists under security laws over the past 12 months.

It found that the government “repeatedly used’national security’ as an excuse to defend censorship, harassment, arrest, and prosecution.”

The report said: “There is clear evidence that the so-called human rights safeguards stipulated in the National Security Law are actually useless, and the existing protection measures in Hong Kong’s conventional laws have also been overwhelmed by it.”

People who are prosecuted under the law are denied bail unless they can prove that they will not “continue to engage in acts that endanger national security.” Amnesty International stated that 70% of those formally prosecuted under security legislation are being prosecuted. Remand awaiting trialIt pointed out that the presumption of innocence is “an important part of the right to a fair trial.”

Those detained under the NSL include Jimmy Lai, a retail tycoon who turned into a media tycoon and founded the pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily.After being briefly granted bail under strict conditions equivalent to house arrest, the 73-year-old Lai Imprisoned again in December. Apple Daily itself Turn off Last week, its editors and senior executives were also arrested under the NSL, and the company’s assets were frozen—again in accordance with the law—which meant that although it had money, it was unable to pay its employees and suppliers.

Amnesty International stated that as of June 23, 2021, 64 people have been formally prosecuted in accordance with the law, and 47 of them have been detained before trial.

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