tirsdag 15. mars 2022

UK rights group threatened under China sweeping security law

Britain’s foreign secretary on Monday accused Chinese authorities of trying to silence free speech after a U.K.-based human rights group said Hong Kong police threatened it with a prison sentence and fines for allegedly violating China’s national security law. Hong Kong Watch said it received a formal warning from Hong Kong police accusing it of “seriously interfering” in Hong Kong affairs and jeopardizing China’s national security by activities including lobbying foreign countries to impose sanctions against China or Hong Kong.

The letter warned that the group could face a fine of HK$100,000 (£9,800) and that its chief executive, Benedict Rogers, could face three years in prison.

The move is one of the first times that a foreigner living abroad has been targeted under China’s sweeping national security law, which was imposed in 2020 as part of Beijing’s increasing crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong following months of anti-government protests.