China Releases Details of Drafted Security Law for Hong Kong

New details have emerged from China’s recently drafted security law concerning Hong Kong.

Up until recently the controversial draft law remained shrouded in mystery, but leaked information had many activists in Hong Kong worried that the law would be used to clamp down of protests and free speech.

One high-ranking Chinese official familiar with the security law’s provisions even compared it to an “anti-virus software”.

Newly revealed details state that the law will be used to quash separatism, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces. What exactly constitutes these crimes and the severity of punishments are still unknown.

On top of that, interpretations of the security law and how it is to be enforced in Hong Kong belong to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, China’s parliament body.

Also, any security measures laid out in the bill will supersede any existing Hong Kong laws or legislation.

The government in Beijing will also establish an office in Hong Kong that will “supervise, guide and support” the Hong Kong government with national security as well as perform intelligence operations.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam will now have the power to appoint judges to handle national security cases, dealing a blow to the semi-autonomous region’s independent judicial system.

The new details of the Chinese national security law are yet another expansion of what many Hong Kong activists have long been fearing–and the main reason so many have taken to the streets: mainland China’s efforts to increase control on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms.

The national security law is likely to go into effect in the coming weeks.

Read the full story here.

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