Hong Kong rejects US report criticising crackdown on freedoms

Published April 2, 2023
A supporter scuffles with police the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts building during the hearing of the 47 pro-democracy activists charged with conspiracy to commit subversion under the national security law, in Hong Kong, China February 6, 2023. — Reuters
A supporter scuffles with police the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts building during the hearing of the 47 pro-democracy activists charged with conspiracy to commit subversion under the national security law, in Hong Kong, China February 6, 2023. — Reuters

HONG KONG: Hong Kong on Saturday “firmly rejected” findings in a new US government report that said US interests had been threatened and that Beijing continued to “undermine” the rule of law and freedoms in the territory under a national security crackdown.

The US 2023 Hong Kong Policy Act Report, published by the US State Department, said Chinese and Hong Kong authorities “continued to use ‘national security’ as a broad and vague basis to undermine the rule of law and protected rights and freedoms”.

China imposed a national security law on Hong Kong in June 2020 without any local legislative or consultative process, outlawing crimes such as subversion with possible life imprisonment.

Authorities say the law restored order after protracted pro-democracy protests in 2019, that called for, among other demands, full democracy.

The city’s tougher security regimen mirrors mainland China, where Chinese leader Xi Jinping has implemented a fierce crackdown on dissent over the past decade, jailing critics and rights defenders.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2023

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