Arrests under the Security Act, a serious concern – a global issue

The human rights lawyer, who was arrested in September, was a member of the Hong Kong Alliance, an advocacy group that organized the annual candlelight vigil in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Several other workers have been similarly arrested and charged under the National Security Act.

The law came into force in late June last year, giving Chinese central authorities greater power and control over all areas of life in Hong Kong.

Allegations of terrorism and sedition are being used inappropriately to impede the exercise of fundamental rightsWhich is protected under international law, which includes freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to participate in public affairs, ”the special correspondent said, urging the authorities to refrain from using national security law and reconsider its application. .


In a written analysis, the experts expressed their concerns to the Chinese government about the national security law in Hong Kong’s special administrative region, highlighting the fundamental inconsistency of the law with international law and the country’s human rights obligations.

UN experts have also expressed concern about the eligibility of “foreign agents” to be charged under the law, which refers to funds received from foreign governments and their beneficial activities.

Special Correspondents have called on China to ensure that associations can collect, receive and use money from foreign or international sources without undue interference.

“By regulatory measures, such as Imposing unreasonable restrictions on funds and punishing recipients of foreign funds, violating the right to liberty Associations as well as other human rights ”, argued experts.

Keep the value intact

Terrorism and the erosion of national security are deeply serious crimes that are strictly defined in international law, experts reminded the government.

“These labels should not be applied to crimes that do not meet the limits set by existing international standards,” they said. “

Moreover, when governments use them to justify internal dissent, limit protests, and stop criticizing civil society and human rights defenders, experts feel it reduces the severity of terrorist acts and sedition crimes, which they call “deep concern.”

Just the process

Enforcement of the national security law also raises concerns about fairness, experts said, adding that according to reports from the rights office, OHCHR, a judge has twice denied Ms. Chow bail because she faces a national security threat if she is released.

The judge refused to lift the reporting ban, saying it was not in the interests of justice for the media to cover the hearing.

Experts urge the government to immediately repeal and independently review the National Security Act so that it complies with both human rights and international law.

“There needs to be a revival of an independent judiciary in Hong Kong, a break in the implementation of this law and a fundamental rethink of its use.”

The right experts

The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council appoints special reporters to examine and report on specific human rights issues or the situation in the country. They are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

Participating in this statement were special correspondents on the promotion and protection of human rights in the fight against terrorism; Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, about the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association; Irene Khan, on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of expression; And Mary Lawler, about the situation of human rights defenders.

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