Beijing / The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (ANP, Legislative) of China today ratified Hong Kong’s controversial security law, Hong Kong media reported.
Sources cited by the South China Morning Post reported that the law was ratified this morning during the meeting of the Standing Committee, after which the legislation could enter into force on Wednesday, July 1, the date in which the retrocession of the territory is commemorated. from British to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.
According to the newspaper, the ANP is now debating the insertion of the law in Annex III of the Basic Hong Kong Law, considered the “mini-constitution” of the semi-autonomous city, and would include penalties of up to life in prison for “acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces to jeopardize national security. ”
The newspaper added that the law was ratified by the unanimous vote of the 162 members of the Standing Committee and that the state news agency Xinhua this afternoon will offer “more details” on the content of the new regulations.
For her part, the head of the local Executive, Carrie Lam, refused today to answer questions related to the law until it is approved and appears in Annex III for promulgation by Hong Kong.
“It would be inappropriate to answer any questions about the law at this time. The only thing I can say is that, when it is approved, we will do everything possible to explain how it is implemented and how it is carried out, ”she said.
A great “threat” to human rights, says Aministía Internacional
The NGO Amnesty International said in a statement today that the passage of the law represents a major “threat” to human rights in Hong Kong, and that “from now on, China will have the power to impose its laws against anyone it considers to be suspected of commit a crime”.
“The speed and secrecy with which China has pushed this legislation sharpens the fear that Beijing has created a weapon of repression to use it against government critics, including people who only express their views peacefully,” said the head of the organization for China Joshua Rosenzweig.
He adds that Beijing’s goal is “to rule Hong Kong out of fear” and that the law could end up punishing candidates from the pro-democracy movement who stand for election to the Hong Kong Legislative Council next September.
The law is not going to be a “tiger without teeth”
The text on which the Chinese legislature works is still unknown, but the South China Morning Post on Monday quoted two sources who assured that the law would include penalties of up to life in prison for “acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and conspiracy with foreign forces to jeopardize national security. “
Previously there was talk of maximum sentences of 10 years in prison, but China seems to be betting hard against the pro-democracy movement.
One of the sources cited by that means assured that the new norm “will cover more than secession and subversion. The law is not going to be a sin toothless tiger. ‘”
Another issue that has been debated within the Standing Committee, according to these sources, is the possibility that the law may have retroactive effect once it is enacted.
The legal text would have the objective of “safeguarding national security” against the much-feared “foreign interference” that Beijing considers to be behind the massive protests that started more than a year ago.
Hong Kong lawyers and activists believe, however, that the law will eventually curtail the freedoms enjoyed by the city. (June 30, 2020, EFE / PracticaEspañol)
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