In June 2020, Beijing inserted national security legislation directly into city’s mini-constitution – bypassing the local legislature – following a year of pro-democracy protests and unrest. It criminalised subversion, secession, foreign interference and terrorist acts, which were broadly defined to include disruption to public transport and other infrastructure. The move gave police sweeping new powers, alarming democrats, civil society groups and trade partners, as such laws have been used broadly to silence and punish dissidents in China.

LATEST NEWS & VIEWS

Hong Kong security law: Arrested teen pro-independence activists first to be released unconditionally

Three teenage activists were released unconditionally by Hong Kong police on Monday six months after their initial arrests for “inciting secession” under the security law in July. Yanni Ho, Ho Nok-hang and Chan Wai-jin were former members of the pro-independence group Studentlocalism. Their release marks the first time individuals arrested under the security law have […]

COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS

Arrested for following the Basic Law? More constitutional codswallop from Hong Kong

The amazing thing about this week’s mass arrests is that the alleged crime of those detained is their plan to follow a constitutional procedure laid down in the Basic Law. You would think this could hardly be illegal. Not according to Senior Superintendent Steve Li of our new local Gestapo, the police national security unit. The plan, […]

China can claim global leadership mantle but fails to win friends or admirers

To listen to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who delivered a New Year’s address to the nation last week, China has emerged triumphant from the severe challenges of 2020 while the rest of the world, especially the Western democratic world, has suffered dearly from the ravages of Covid-19. And there was certainly much for him to […]

FEATURES

Skin in the game: Hong Kong protesters facing security law see banned slogan tattoos as ‘last inch of freedom’

Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters Eugene and Hong are determined to keep their tattoos depicting the now-illegal slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times.” They see their skin as the “last inch of freedom” remaining under the Beijing-enacted national security law. When Eugene carefully takes off his hoodie, a striking tattoo featuring the slogan and […]

HK 2020 Interview: Barrister Jessica Leung says justice dep’t is endangering Hong Kong’s rule of law

Barrister Jessica Leung says 2020 has left many Hongkongers downcast about the city’s future. Reflecting on developments in the judicial system, she understands why. Courts came under increasing political pressure as cases relating to the 2019 protests were heard. State-run newspapers Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po lambasted a judge who ruled that Hong […]

Hong Kong District Councillor series: Security law soured gov’t attitude towards democrats says Beatrice Chu

Beatrice Chu, a pro-democracy district councillor for more than eight years, says Hong Kong’s new national security law has brought a marked change in official attitudes towards the councils, with some government bodies becoming increasingly unhelpful and condescending. Chu was elected to Tuen Mun District Council in 2012, after losing her first bid in 2008 […]

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