Four independent UN human rights experts have called on the Hong Kong government to abolish Beijing’s national security law, stating that the law is basically incompatible with international norms.
“Experts urged the government to urgently abolish national security law, review it independently and ensure that it complies with both human rights and international law,” four reporters said. Said in a statement on the 12th of March.
They are prominent barristers and former vice-chairmen of the now-dissolved Hong Kong Alliance, which supports China’s patriotic democratic movement, a local advocacy group known for organizing annual vigilance in Hong Kong. He pointed out an incident involving Chow Hantun. Victim of the Tiananmen Square Incident in 1989.
Chau and the leaders of the other three alliances were arrested on September 8 after the advocacy group refused to cooperate with a national security investigation accused of being a “foreign agent.”
The next day, Chow was charged with “inciting capsizing” under national security law. The same accusation was slapped by two other alliance leaders, Lee Chukyan and Albert Ho, who had been sentenced for their role in an unauthorized rally in 2019.
Beijing imposed a National Security Act on Hong Kong last summer, criminalizing vaguely defined crimes of secession, destruction, terrorism, and conspiracy with foreign troops with the greatest penalties for life imprisonment. Since then, dozens of city anti-democratic leaders have fled abroad, faced prosecution, or have been put in jail.
Chow was denied bail on September 10, and she was acquitted earlier this month on charges of incitement.
“Terrorism and incitement are improperly used to curb the exercise of basic rights protected under international law, such as freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of peaceful assembly, and the right to participate in public affairs. “The expert said.
International human rights groups have expressed similar concerns about the impact of Hong Kong’s National Security Act. In June, Amnesty International said the law “caused a human rights emergency” in the city. In the same month, Reporters Without Borders declared the law “at serious risk” to the city’s freedom of the press.
The US government has sanctioned more than 12 Chinese and Hong Kong officials for its role in suppressing democracy in Hong Kong.
The four experts also warned the Hong Kong government not to make it so easy to accuse individuals of destruction or terrorism.
“These labels should not be applied to crimes that do not meet the thresholds set by existing international standards,” experts say.
They added, “The seriousness of terrorist acts and incitement crimes when the government suppresses domestic complaints, limits protests, and improperly uses them to curb criticism by civil society and human rights advocates. It’s very annoying to mitigate. “
Finally, experts could accuse Hong Kong organizations of being “foreign agents” under national security law simply because they received funding from foreign political groups. I was wondering.
“Such regulatory measures violate the right to freedom of association and other human rights by imposing excessive restrictions on funding and punishing recipients of foreign funding,” experts said. Stated.
They called on the Hong Kong government to “enable, receive, and use funds from foreign or international sources without undue obstacles.”
In response to the reporter’s statement, the Hong Kong Ministry of Justice defended the National Security Act in a statement on October 13, stating that the law was “in line with international practices that protect national security.”
The four reporters included Fionnuala Ni Aolain, a special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while combating terrorism, and Irene Khan, a special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of expression. rice field.
“We need to revitalize Hong Kong’s independent judicial body, suspend the application of this law, and fundamentally reassess its use,” the experts concluded.