07/06/2020, 10.09
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Hong Kong, security law: bookstores pull 'pro-democracy' texts

The authorities want to check their compatibility with the new legislation. Joshua Wong: Censorship just like in China. Tanya Chan: The population self-censors to avoid problems.


Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Bookstores throughout Hong Kong are pulling "pro-democracy" texts. Local authorities claim the books have been withdrawn to verify their compatibility with the new security law. The South China Morning Post reports that at least nine books are no longer available, including those by Joshua Wong and Tanya Chan, two well-known members of the democratic front.

The new legislation, which entered into force on 30 June, introduces the crimes of separatism, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. Beijing imposed it to stifle the democratic movement, which for a year has been demonstrating for Hong Kong's autonomy from the motherland and to safeguard its liberal system.

So far, the police have arrested 10 people on charges of violating the measure. Many democratic personalities now fear being arrested and extradited to China, where they would be judged by mainland courts. Some of them, like Nathan Law, have fled abroad.

The Chinese government and the Hong Kong executive argue that the security law does not erase the freedoms guaranteed by the Basic Law, the mini-Constitution on which the autonomy of the city is based.

Democrats say the pulling of political books from bookstores proves otherwise. Wong said that there is now the same censorship in Hong Kong and China. Chan says the new legislation is so repressive that it would cause white terror and self-censorship.

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