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[Media Lines] Hong Kong: Concern Over Proposed National Security Law

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The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) is deeply concerned over  Hong Kong’s newly proposed national security law, which introduces tougher punishments for those accused of ’endangering national security.’ 

Known as Article 23, the law proposes harsh sentences of up to life imprisonment for treason, insurrection, sabotage, and mutiny; 20 years for espionage; and 10 years for crimes linked to state secrets and sedition. 

The Hong Kong Government claims that the proposed legislation addresses loopholes left behind by the Beijing-imposed 2020 version of the law. The latter has quashed dissent, disbanded civil society organisations, silenced pro-democracy media outlets, and arrested 286 individuals, resulting in 156 charges and 68 convictions.

‘This legislation threatens to further erode fundamental rights and freedoms in Hong Kong. FORUM-ASIA is in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong. Their freedoms of expression, assembly, and association must be protected. We call on the international community to scrutinise this proposed law,’ said Mary Aileen Diez-Bacalso, Executive Director of FORUM-ASIA.