Hong Kong, July 24 (ANI): Imposed by China, the National Security Law in Hong Kong has led to the detainment of former opposition politicians and high-profile journalists and curbed the freedom of many others.
China imposed a national security law on Hong Kong on June 30, 2020, and dozens of former opposition politicians and high-profile journalists were detained under the law.
Writing in Asia Nikkei, Patrick Poon said that the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities have not limited the scope of the new law which has allowed them to restrict the freedoms of the people.
The people could earlier talk about human rights in China and Hong Kong in public and private. It was common for such talks to be held at universities.
However, now people hesitate and self-censor before organising any such activity because of the national security law, Poon wrote.
Earlier, police officers would discuss the protest routes with the organisers and rallies would be held without police permission as no-objection letters were issued by them once they were informed of the plans.
The situation has changed drastically. People would now be questioned by police and warned they would be charged with illegal assembly if they did not disperse from demonstration spots like Victoria Park.
However, people accused of nonviolent offences are now detained for years in pretrial detention. The court has placed limitations on the reporting of details about a bail application.
Meanwhile, several people in pro-Beijing camp and expatriate business people claim that their life has been the same despite the implementation of the National Security Law.
On 1 July 1997, Hong Kong was handed over to the People's Republic of China (PRC) from the United Kingdom under the conditions set out in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. The Joint Declaration provides for fundamental rights, a high degree of autonomy and the "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong.
"25 years later, Hong Kong is no longer the city we once recognised," according to Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC). The draconian National Security Law, implemented on June 30, 2020, has been used to punish dissent, curtail protest and freedom of speech and reduce the city's autonomy.
Since the law's adoption, there have been at least 183 arrests made and 113 individuals charged, with more than 50 civil society organisations forced to disband and multiple media outlets ceasing to operate. (ANI)