page contents Hong Kong: 'Anti-protest' law kicks in as city marks handover – The News Headline

Hong Kong: 'Anti-protest' law kicks in as city marks handover

Carrie Lam at a flag-raising ceremony in Hong Kong on WednesdaySymbol copyright
AFP / Getty

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Carrie Lam at a flag-raising rite in Hong Kong on Wednesday

Hong Kong is marking 23 years since British rule ended as a brand new “anti-protest” regulation, imposed through Beijing, comes into impact.

The nationwide safety regulation objectives secession, subversion and terrorism with punishments as much as lifestyles in jail.

Hong Kong used to be passed again to China from Britain in 1997, however beneath an settlement meant to offer protection to sure freedoms for no less than 50 years.

However critics say the regulation is the “finish of Hong Kong”, and forestalls the ones freedoms.

“[China] promised 50 years of freedom to the Hong Kong folks, and gave them best 23,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated.

  • China’s new regulation: Why is Hong Kong anxious?

Town’s chief, alternatively, stated the regulation would “repair balance” after common protests in 2019.

“The regulation of the nationwide safety regulation is thought of as an important building in family members between the central executive and Hong Kong for the reason that handover,” stated Leader Government Carrie Lam.

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Media captionMany Hong Kong citizens are anxious the brand new safety regulation manner the ‘one nation, two programs’ fundamental now not exists

Will there be protests at the anniversary?

A professional-democracy protest is held each and every yr at the anniversary, usually attended through tens or masses of 1000’s of folks.

However for the primary time for the reason that handover, government banned the march – bringing up a deadly disease ban on gatherings of greater than 50 folks.

Some activists have pledged to defy the ban and march later within the afternoon.

“We march annually… and we can stay on marching,” pro-democracy activist Leung Kwok-hung advised Reuters.

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Small protests came about on Wednesday morning

However one pro-democracy activist warned there used to be a “massive probability of our being arrested”.

“The costs may not be gentle, please pass judgement on for your self,” stated Tsang Relatives-shing of the League of Social Democrats.

Law enforcement officials within the town are on standby, insiders advised the South China Morning Put up. They stated round four,000 officials had been poised to take care of any unrest.

What does the brand new regulation say?

Underneath the brand new regulation – which applies to each everlasting and non-permanent citizens – crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with overseas forces are punishable through a minimal sentence of 3 years, with the utmost being lifestyles.

Protesters steadily focused town infrastructure all over the 2019 protests – beneath the brand new regulation, harmful public delivery amenities may also be regarded as terrorism.

Beijing will even identify a brand new safety workplace in Hong Kong, with its personal regulation enforcement team of workers – neither of which might come beneath the native authority’s jurisdiction.

Inciting hatred of China’s central executive and Hong Kong’s regional executive are actually offences beneath Article 29.

  • Existence sentences for breaking Hong Kong safety regulation
  • Beijing to arrange new safety workplace in Hong Kong

What used to be the response?

Mins after the regulation used to be handed, pro-democracy activists started to surrender, frightened of the punishment the brand new regulation permits.

“With sweeping powers and ill-defined regulation, the town will become a secret police state,” stated Joshua Wong, a pro-democracy chief.

The political birthday celebration he co-founded – Demosisto – used to be additionally disbanded.

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Media captionAi Weiwei: “Nowadays is the darkest day for Hong Kong”

One opposition legislator advised the BBC stated the transfer had taken away the town’s rights.

“Our rights are (being) taken away, our freedom is long past, our rule of regulation, our judicial independence is long past,” stated opposition legislator Ted Hui.

In america, lawmakers from each events have introduced a invoice to present refugee standing to Hong Kong citizens susceptible to persecution, reported native media shops.

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Media captionJimmy Lai: China’s safety regulation ‘spells the loss of life knell for Hong Kong’

Underneath the nationwide safety regulation, most of the acts of protest that experience rocked Hong Kong during the last yr may now be classed as subversion or secession… and punished with as much as lifestyles in jail.

Town’s pro-Beijing chief, Carrie Lam, stated the regulation used to be lengthy past due.

Political activists have resigned and one pro-democracy protester, who requested to stay nameless, advised me that odd folks are actually deleting posts on social media.

Many of us are simply preventing speaking about politics, and preventing speaking about freedom and democracy, as a result of they wish to save their very own lives.

They wish to save their freedom and keep away from being arrested.

One touch of mine, a attorney and human rights activist, despatched me a message in a while after the regulation used to be handed.

Please delete the entirety in this chat, he wrote.

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