06/29/2020, 12.29
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Hong Kong security law: pro-democracy activists fear extradition to and trial in China

The measure is expected to take effect on 1 July. It imposes life in prison for separatism, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. Activist flees for fear of arrest. Police will deploy 3,000 to 4,000 officers to prevent the traditional 1 July rally.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Pro-democracy groups are preparing for Hong Kong’s new security law, which should take effect tomorrow after a three-day meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).

Activists fear they might be arrested and sent to China for trial by mainland courts, which are controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Some, like pro-independence militant Wayne Chan Ka-kui, have already fled abroad for fear of arrest.

The new legislation, whose content is not yet known, creates the crimes of separatism, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces.

Tam Yiu-chung, Hong Kong’s lonely delegate on the NPC Standing Committee, said that violators could get life imprisonment. He added that the law is applicable to the local population as well as foreign companies and media, and that it is retroactive, covering crimes committed after 28 May, when it was approved by the NPC.

According to the pro-democracy movement, backed by the United States and other Western countries, the legislation cancels Hong Kong's autonomy, as guaranteed by its Basic Law.

In view of the situation, Hong Kong police plan to deploy 3,000 to 4,000 officers on 1 July in order to block any protests against the law.

The authorities have in fact banned the pro-democracy rally traditionally held on that day since 2003. Seventeen years ago, on July 1 of that year, more than 500,000 people took to the streets to protest a public security bill proposed by the Hong Kong government.

Meanwhile, protests have been taking place in Hong Kong for more than a year. Initially, they were aimed at the cancellation of a proposed extradition bill, but eventually turned into a movement for full democracy. Since then, extremist groups and police have often clashed.

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