onsdag 20. mars 2024

Article 23: Local politicians hail new security law, as foreign gov’ts, NGOs slam ‘devastating’ effect on freedom

Foreign governments, politicians and NGOs have condemned the fast-tracked passage of Hong Kong’s new, local security law, whilst local political parties and government departments hailed Tuesday’s unanimous vote in the opposition-free legislature. Article 23 of the Basic Law stipulates that the government shall enact laws on its own to prohibit acts of treason, secession, sedition and subversion against Beijing. Its legislation failed in 2003 following mass protests and it remained taboo until after the onset of the separate, Beijing-imposed security law in 2020.

Pro-democracy advocates fear the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance – set to be enacted from Saturday – could have a negative effect on civil liberties, despite the authorities citing a constitutional duty. Treason, insurrection and sabotage will now be punishable by up to life in prison.