Both the International Bar Association and the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) have condemned China’s proposed new national security legislation for Hong Kong, in strongly-worded statements.
China’s National People’s Congress yesterday (28 May) approved the draft legislation, which is seen as targeting protests which have taken place in the city over the past year.
In a joint statement, the two groups said the introduction of such law would violate the ‘one country, two systems’ principle enshrined in Hong Kong’s Basic Law and undermine the autonomy of Hong Kong.
“We are concerned that the proposed legislation will be used as a further means to restrict the rights of peaceful protestors,” the statement said, adding that the law could be used to curtail the freedoms of prominent human rights defenders.
The groups fear that Hong Kong’s foreign judges, who sit on the Court of Final Appeal to ensure international standards are met, will no longer be allowed to adjudicate on cases of national security.
“This threat to judicial independence is unconscionable,” they said.