Hong Kong security law: Minutes after new law, pro-democracy voices quit

Hong Kong security law: Minutes after new law, pro-democracy voices quit
Hong Kong security law: Minutes after new law, pro-democracy voices quit  

On Tuesday morning, the news started to break from Beijing: China had passed a new security law in Hong Kong.

The law criminalises any act of secession, subversion, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces.

And within minutes, the effect was obvious. Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong began to quit, fearful of the new law, and the punishment it allows.

Here is some of the reaction from them, other governments, and campaign groups.

Joshua Wong

Secretary-general and founding member of pro-democracy group Demosisto, and key figure in 2014 Umbrella movement

"It [the law] marks the end of Hong Kong that the world knew before," said Mr Wong, after announcing he was quitting Demosisto.

"From now on, Hong Kong enters a new era of reign of terror, just like Taiwan's White Terror, with arbitrary prosecutions, black jails, secret trials, forced confessions, media clampdowns and political censorship.

"With sweeping powers and ill-defined law, the city will turn into a secret police state. Hong Kong protesters now face high possibilities of being extradited to China's courts for trials and life sentences."

Nathan Law

Founding chairman of Demosisto, former student leader

On Facebook, Mr Law said the law marked the start of a "bloody cultural revolution".

But, despite quitting Demosisto, he said he would continue to fight for democracy "in a personal capacity".

He added on Twitter: "Stay strong, my friends. Hong Kong people will not give up."

Hours after Mr Law, Mr Wong, and others quit Demosisto, the group announced it would disband entirely. "We will meet again," it said.

Hong Kong National Front

Pro-independence group

Minutes after the law was passed, the group said on Twitter it was disbanding in Hong Kong, but would continue its work overseas. It reportedly has branches in Taiwan and the UK.

Its Hong Kong spokesman, Baggio Leung - who was briefly a member of parliament in 2016 - is also leaving the group.

But the group said the end of operations in Hong Kong did not mean its fight was over. "Today is not the end point," it said.

Amnesty International

"From now on, China will have the power to impose its own laws on any criminal suspect it chooses," said the head of Amnesty's China team, Joshua Rosenzweig.

"The fact that the Chinese authorities have now passed this law without the people of Hong Kong being able to see it tells you a lot about their intentions.

"Their aim is to govern Hong Kong through fear from this point forward."

Taiwanese government

"The move severely impacts Hong Kong society's freedom, human rights and stability," said cabinet spokesman Evian Ting, as the Taiwanese government warned its citizens of an increased risk in visiting Hong Kong.

"The government strongly condemns it and reiterates its support for the people of Hong Kong as they strive for democracy and freedom."

Carrie Lam

Hong Kong government leader, speaking before the law was passed

"There is no need for us to worry," Ms Lam said in May.

"In the last 23 years, whenever people worried about Hong Kong's freedom of speech and freedom of expression and protest, time and again, Hong Kong has proven that we uphold and preserve those values."

"The core values in terms of the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, the various rights and freedoms enjoyed by people, will continue to be there," she added.

More on Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement

  • Joshua Wong, the poster boy for Hong Kong protests

  • Thousands join largest HK protest rally in months

  • The city of two masks faces a new crisis


More Related News

Hong Kong makes first security law arrests as thousands defy protest ban
Hong Kong makes first security law arrests as thousands defy protest ban

Hong Kong police arrested about 370 people Wednesday -- including 10 under China's new national security law -- as thousands defied a ban on protests on the anniversary of the city's handover to China. Police used water cannon, pepper spray and tear gas in a series of confrontations with protesters, one day after China drew global criticism for imposing the controversial legislation on the financial hub. Beijing said the law would restore stability after nearly a year of unrest, but instead it sparked the worst street violence in months.

Biden blames
Biden blames 'weak' Trump for Hong Kong clampdown

Presidential contender Joe Biden on Wednesday blamed a "weak" Donald Trump for China's clampdown in Hong Kong, vowing a tougher stance on human rights if he wins the White House. "Where Trump has been weak, I will be strong, clear and consistent in standing up for our values,"

Hong Kong:
Hong Kong: 'Anti-protest' law kicks in as city marks handover

As the city marks 23 years since British rule ended, critics say the new law is "the end of Hong Kong".

Hong Kong security law: Anger as China
Hong Kong security law: Anger as China's Xi signs legislation

The UK, EU and Nato express grave concern for Hong Kong autonomy as China's president signs the law.

China passes feared Hong Kong security law
China passes feared Hong Kong security law

China passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong on Tuesday, a historic move that critics and many western governments fear will smother the finance hub's freedoms and hollow out its autonomy. The legislation was unanimously approved by China's rubber-stamp parliament, little more than six weeks after it was first unveiled. "It marks the end of Hong Kong that the world knew before," prominent democracy campaigner Joshua Wong tweeted as his political party Demosisto announced it was disbanding.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America