In June, Beijing enacted laws to prevent, stop and punish behaviour in Hong Kong that it deemed a threat to national security. The legislation was inserted into the city’s mini-constitution – bypassing the local legislature – following a year of pro-democracy protests and unrest. It criminalised subversion, secession, foreign interference and inference with transportation and other infrastructure. The move – which gave police sweeping new powers – alarmed democrats, civil society groups and trade partners, as such laws have been used broadly to silence and punish dissidents in China.


Families urge Hong Kong police to disclose details about loved ones detained in China

Family members of the 12 Hongkongers detained in China while attempting to flee to Taiwan have urged local police to disclose details about their loved ones. Pro-democracy activist Owen Chow, lawmaker Eddie Chu and family members of some of the detainees gathered outside the police headquarters in Wan Chai on Sunday. Chow read out the […]

Hong Kong gov’t says security law does not affect judicial independence after Australian judge resigns from top court

Hong Kong’s government has said the national security law does not affect the city’s judicial independence after an Australian judge resigned from the local top court earlier this month, citing unspecified reasons related to the Beijing-imposed legislation. On Friday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam revoked of the appointment of Justice James Spigelman as a judge from another […]


After over 10,000 arrests, what is Hong Kong going to do with all its dissidents?

The number of arrests arising from the 2019/20 protests has now exceeded 10,000, a staggering number by any standards. In addition, arrests and prosecutions relating to the 2014 Umbrella protests are still underway, adding considerably to the total of politically-related prosecutions. In the last 15 months, the police have nabbed more than twice the number […]

Hong Kong’s separation of powers are gone – the old rules need not apply

If you are a little confused these days about Hong Kong’s status as a special administrative region of China, welcome to the club. Bewilderment reigns as we suddenly strain to identify anything particularly “special” about our city.  Unlike every other city in China, we used to enjoy freedom of speech, assembly and the press. Now, […]


‘Even with handcuffs, I feel at peace’: Pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai says Apple Daily won’t change, but no more protest activism

Pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai says he is prepared to sacrifice anything for Hong Kong and his embattled newspaper Apple Daily will keep speaking out under the Beijing-imposed national security law, but it will steer clear of protest activism. The paper, he said, would keep going until the day its operation is no longer possible, […]

Interview: Historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom says world must keep paying attention to Hong Kong despite pandemic distractions

When historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom was contemplating Hong Kong’s future as he wrote his book on last year’s protests, he never imagined that freedoms would come under attack so soon after Beijing’s national security law was passed. “I’d say this was the picture that I feared,” he told HKFP, “but it’s happened faster than anybody expected, […]


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