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World Hong Kong: Amnesty International leaves the country because of the National Security Act

23:05  25 october  2021
23:05  25 october  2021 Source:   20minutes.fr

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adopted in June 2020, the National Security Act has radically transformed the political, cultural and legal landscape of the territory

Lors d'une manifestation à Hong Kong, le 15 octobre 2019. © Mark Schiefelbein / PA / SIPA during a manifestation in Hong Kong, October 15, 2019. Humanitarian - adopted in June 2020, the National Security Act has radically transformed the political, cultural and legal landscape of the territory

estimating "impossible" to work freely At Hong Kong due to the Draconian National Security Act imposed last year by Beijing , the NGO Amnesty International announced the closure of its offices in the country, on Monday. "The Hong Kong National Security Act (...) makes it impossible for human rights organizations in Hong Kong to work freely and without fear of serious reprisals on the part of the government," explained in a statement the President of the NGO, Anjhula Mya Singh Bais.

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Two offices on site

The former British colony returned to China in 1997 has long benefited from its statutory system separate from the rest of the country and guaranteeing freedom of expression and meeting. As a result, many non-governmental organizations and the media chose the city as a regional basis.

"But the fact that local rights and trade union groups have recently been targeted is the signal of an intensification of the campaign by the authorities to rid the city of any dissenting voices, added the President. 'Amnesty. It is increasingly difficult for us to continue working in an environment as unstable. Amnesty International has been present for more than forty years in Hong Kong, has two offices: its local and its regional headquarters for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The Local will close on October 31, and the Regional Office, by the end of the year.

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"Repressive Environment"

adopted in June 2020, the National Security Act, which according to Beijing has enabled Hong Kong to regain stability after the gigantic and often violent pro-democracy events, radically transformed the political landscape, cultural and legal territory. The text punishes any certificate of "secession", "subversion", "collusion with foreign forces" or "terrorism". Written very blurred, it actually makes illegal the expression of any form of opposition or almost. Some crimes against national security are liable to life prison.

"The repressive environment and perpetual uncertainty created by the National Security Act makes it impossible to know which activities could lead to criminal penalties," lamented Amnesty International. Last July, the first Hong Kong found in application of the new law, a 24-year-old server, was sentenced to nine years in prison for daring to a motorcycle on a police officer by brandishing a flag with a slogan considered subversive. A second defendant, a 31-year-old meal deliveryman, was convicted on Monday of "secession" for channeling slogans such as "Free Hong Kong, Revolution of our time", or "Hong Kong, build your own country".

Amnesty to shut Hong Kong offices given national security law risks

  Amnesty to shut Hong Kong offices given national security law risks Amnesty to shut Hong Kong offices given national security law risksHONG KONG (Reuters) - International rights group Amnesty International said on Monday it would close its Hong Kong offices because a China-imposed security law had now made it "effectively impossible" for rights groups to work freely without the risk of reprisals.

More than 70 people charged

incarcerated since his arrest ten months ago, the young man, first person to be condemned for a non-violent offense against national security, will experience his sentence later. He incurs seven years in prison. The trials under the National Security Act unfolds without a jury and before magistrates specially selected by the government, which constitutes a real break with the Hong Kongic tradition inherited from the British system. Most of the charges are waiting for their trial in prison, freedom on bail are rarely granted them.

More than 70 people, including a large part of the most prominent pro-democracy activists, were charged , most for expressed political views. Many others have fled abroad. Dozens of Hong Kong associations and unions have also taught themselves in recent months of fear of being worried by the authorities. And the main daily democracy of the city, Apple Daily, closed in June after the incarceration of its leaders and the gel of its assets.

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