In June 2020, Beijing inserted national security legislation directly into Hong Kong’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.


In Pictures: Quizzes, flags and national security ‘Lennon Walls’ as Hong Kong students as young as three learn about patriotism

Hong Kong students as young as three were among those learning about national security as part of Thursday’s National Security Education Day, under sweeping new guidelines to bring schools into line with the national security law imposed on the city last June. Students will learn the basic concepts of the law and the details of […]

In Pictures: Police put on a show to mark Hong Kong’s first national security day

Police marked Hong Kong’s first National Security Education Day on Thursday with an open day featuring a series of band performances and drills, including Chinese military-style “goose-step” marching, and anti-terrorism demonstrations.   The event, organised by the Office for Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong, was held at the Hong Kong Police College in Wong Chuk […]


Independent judges are no protection against bad laws, m’lud

The pro-government press has been fawning over an unlikely hero – retired British judge Lord Sumption. His Lordship pleased the poodles by writing a letter to The Times of London, defending his decision to carry on with his appointment as one of the overseas judges invited – one at a time – to sit on […]

The dream of genuine universal suffrage in Hong Kong is gone for good, but can the democracy movement survive?

Hong Kong’s current democracy movement began long ago, in the early 1980s, soon after Beijing’s demand for the city’s return became known. The reformers were a mixed lot, some young, some not. Most were middle-class white-collar types: college students and some faculty; Martin Lee and the lawyers; Szeto Wah and the teachers’ union; journalist Emily […]



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Artist navigates red lines to take his protest message to the streets of Hong Kong

Street artist Vladimir Grankovsky carefully adds the brushstrokes of the banned protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” and his painting of a pro-democracy protester standing in front of a full moon springs to life. The Ukrainian turns his finished work around for inspection by a crowd of around 20 people watching him […]

Hong Kong’s self-styled ‘voice of reason’ says Beijing-imposed electoral shake-up is ‘the worst’ things will get for the city

Pro-establishment lawmaker Michael Tien says that the centrally-imposed overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system is as far Beijing will go in terms of tightening its grip on the city, and that pragmatists like him will emerge as the biggest winners in a revamped Legislative Council (LegCo). “This is the worst [things will get],” Tien said […]


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