China Used Hong Kong Security Law to “Drastically Curtail Freedom”: UK Report

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The UK report additionally criticised China’s overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system (File).

Hong Kong:

Beijing has damaged its authorized obligations by undermining Hong Kong’s excessive diploma of autonomy and used a nationwide safety regulation to “drastically curtail freedoms” within the international monetary hub, in response to a report by Britain on its former colony.

In a foreword within the six-monthly report protecting July-December 2020, British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab mentioned a sweeping nationwide safety regulation Beijing imposed on town in June final 12 months was getting used to stifle political opposition.

There had been “clear breaches” of the 1984 Joint Declaration, signed by then Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that assured wide-ranging freedoms for Hong Kong, Raab mentioned.

The report criticised Beijing’s overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system, prosecution choices made by the Department of Justice and the contentious safety regulation.

“We have, therefore, now declared China to be in a state of ongoing non-compliance with the Joint Declaration,” Raab mentioned, including that the nationwide safety regulation was not getting used to focus on a small group of criminals, as acknowledged by Beijing.

“Rather it is being used to drastically curtail the space for the expression of alternative political views and deter freedom of expression and legitimate political debate,” he mentioned within the assertion launched on Thursday.

The Hong Kong authorities hit again at what it described as “inaccurate remarks” that would not be “further from the truth and are clearly double standards”.

“Any objective person will see that since the implementation of the Hong Kong national security law, stability, which is vital to business activities, has been restored to society and national security has been safeguarded,” a Hong Kong authorities spokesperson mentioned.

Beijing imposed a nationwide safety regulation on Hong Kong in June that punishes what authorities broadly outline as secession, sedition and collusion with overseas forces with as much as life in jail, following a 12 months of generally violent demonstrations.

Western governments and worldwide human rights teams have expressed concern the regulation will crush freedoms in Hong Kong.

Britain, which dominated Hong Kong for over 150 years till it handed it again to China in 1997, has mentioned the safety regulation was a breach of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration that paved the way in which for the handover.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)



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