Asia Pacific

A ‘Step Backwards’ According to UN Rights Chief: Hong Kong’s Rushed New Security Law

“It is alarming that such consequential legislation was rushed through the legislature through an accelerated process, in spite of serious concerns raised about the incompatibility of many of its provisions with international human rights law,” Volker Türk said in a statement deploring the move in the former British colony which has been a Special Administrative Region of China since 1997.

More crimes added

The Safeguarding National Security Bill expands on the Law on Safeguarding National Security, passed by China in 2020. 

Known locally as Article 23, it was debated over just 11 days, according to international media reports.

The law introduces five additional categories of crimes, described as treason, insurrection, offences in connection with state secrets and espionage, sabotage and endangering national security, and external interference.

Potential for misuse

Mr. Türk stressed that broadly defined and vague provisions in the Bill could lead to the criminalization of a wide range of conduct protected under international human rights law, including the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, as well as the right to receive and impart information. 

This ambiguity is deeply troubling, given its potential misuse and arbitrary application, including to target dissenting voices, journalists, researchers, civil society actors and human rights defenders,” he said. 

“As we have already seen, such provisions readily lead to self-censorship and chilling of legitimate speech and conduct, in respect of matters of public interest on which open debate is vital.” 

He added that under the Bill’s “external interference” provisions, the broad definition of what constitutes “external force” could have a further chilling effect on engagement with human rights organisations and UN human rights bodies.

“For such important legislation, with a significant impact on human rights to be passed without a thorough process of deliberation and meaningful consultation is a regressive step for the protection of human rights in Hong Kong,” he said. 

Source

13 Comments

  1. It is deeply concerning that such a crucial law was hurriedly pushed through the legislature without adequate consideration for its impact on human rights. The broad and vague language in the legislation could easily be abused to suppress freedom of expression and target individuals seeking to peacefully voice dissent. This regressive move undermines the rights and freedoms that Hong Kong residents should be guaranteed.

  2. It is concerning that the rushed legislation in Hong Kong seems to disregard international human rights law and could be easily misused to target individuals expressing dissenting voices or defending human rights.

  3. It’s deeply troubling to see such rushed legislation with vague provisions that could easily lead to the criminalization of protected rights. The potential misuse of this law is concerning, especially in targeting dissenting voices and human rights defenders.

  4. “It is concerning that the new security law in Hong Kong was pushed through without proper scrutiny, despite serious concerns about its compliance with international human rights standards,” Rebecca Smith criticized. “The expansion of crimes under this legislation raises fears of potential misuse, endangering fundamental freedoms and rights.”

  5. It is deeply concerning that the rushed passing of this security law raises serious questions about its compatibility with international human rights standards. The vague provisions and potential for misuse are alarming, and could suppress freedom of expression and target dissenting voices. This hasty legislative move is indeed a step backwards for Hong Kong’s autonomy.

  6. “It’s concerning to see how this legislation was pushed through so quickly without addressing the serious human rights issues it raises. The vague and broad provisions in the Bill could easily be used to curtail essential freedoms and target dissenting voices. This rushed move is definitely a step backward for Hong Kong.”

  7. It is concerning that this legislation was rushed through without proper scrutiny. The ambiguous and broad provisions in the law could easily be misused to suppress dissent and violate human rights. We must remain vigilant in protecting fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong.

  8. Is there any indication of how the international community is planning to address this concerning new security law in Hong Kong?

    1. Regarding your question about the international community’s response to the new security law in Hong Kong, there have been calls for increased scrutiny and condemnation from various countries and human rights organizations. Diplomatic pressure, sanctions, and international advocacy efforts are likely to be used to address this issue and hold the authorities accountable for potential human rights violations.

  9. Do you think the rushed nature of the legislation will have long-term negative impacts on human rights in Hong Kong?

  10. It is concerning that this legislation was rushed through the legislature without proper scrutiny. The vague provisions in the Bill could easily be manipulated to suppress dissent and target individuals exercising their rights. This poses a threat to freedom of expression and human rights in Hong Kong.

  11. Could you provide examples of how the new security law in Hong Kong could potentially lead to the criminalization of protected conduct under international human rights law? I’m concerned about the impact on dissenting voices and journalists.

  12. It is disgraceful that such significant legislation was pushed through the legislature via a fast-tracked process, despite the serious concerns raised about the incompatibility of many of its provisions with international human rights law. The rushed development of the law raises red flags about the government’s commitment to upholding basic human rights and freedoms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button