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Hong Kong security law ‘crushing blow’
Hong Kong's leader John Lee (Pic: Shutterstock)

20 Mar 2024 / global news Print

Hong Kong security law ‘crushing blow’

Amnesty International has described a new security law introduced in Hong Kong as “draconian”.

The legislation, known as Article 23, targets new offences, such as external interference and insurrection.

According to a BBC report, it was fast-tracked through its final stage by the city's parliament in less than two weeks.

It follows a controversial National Security Law (NSL) imposed by China in 2020.

Hong Kong's leader John Lee (pictured) has said that the law is needed to guard against "potential sabotage and undercurrents that try to create troubles", particularly "ideas of an independent Hong Kong".

‘Blink of an eye’

Amnesty International’s China director Sarah Brooks said, however, that the Hong Kong government had delivered “another crushing blow to human rights in the city”.

“The authorities have enacted this law in the blink of an eye, killing off any remaining shred of hope that public outcry could counter its most destructive elements,” she added.

An Amnesty analysis of the law said that the new offence of external interference could lead to the prosecution of activists for their exchanges with foreign actors.

The organisation also highlighted new investigatory powers allowing for detention without charge for 16 days, and denial of access to a lawyer.

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