Hong Kong’s controversial nationwide safety regulation must be repealed, specialists on the UN Human Rights Committee stated on Wednesday, amid considerations the laws is getting used to crack down on free speech and dissent within the former British colony.
Chinese language and Hong Kong officers have repeatedly stated the regulation, imposed by Beijing in 2020, was important to revive stability after town was rocked for months by typically violent anti-government and anti-China protests in 2019.
The committee, which displays the implementation of the Worldwide Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by state events, launched its findings on Hong Kong following a periodic evaluation.
The suggestions are the primary by the impartial UN professional physique since 2020.
“Since its enactment in 2020, the NSL (nationwide safety regulation) has reportedly led to the arrests of over 200 folks, together with 12 kids,” the committee stated in assertion. “The committee urged Hong Kong to take motion to repeal the nationwide safety regulation and, within the meantime, chorus from making use of it.”
Hong Kong returned to Chinese language rule in 1997 with the assure of a excessive diploma of autonomy, together with freedom of speech, beneath a “one nation, two techniques” formulation. Critics of the regulation say that autonomy is being eroded quick.
The committee additionally stated it regretted that the Hong Kong authorities had failed to supply express assurances that civil society members who participated within the committee’s periodic view wouldn’t be focused.
The nationwide safety regulation was imposed on Hong Kong straight by China in June 2020 with none native legislative or consultative course of, outlawing crimes resembling subversion with potential life imprisonment.
The town’s more durable safety routine mirrors mainland China, the place Chinese language chief Xi Jinping has applied a fierce crackdown on dissent over the previous decade, jailing critics and rights defenders nationwide.
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