New Chinese National Security Law Poses Severe Threat to Human Rights In Hong Kong
WASHINGTON – The new national security law imposed on Hong Kong today by the Chinese government will likely be devastating to human rights in Hong Kong, and the United States government should react immediately, forcefully, and in full coordination with allies and partners, said Human Rights First.
The sweeping new law threatens the basic rights of all of Hong Kong’s people, including freedoms of speech and assembly. Among other provisions, the new law profoundly undermines the city’s independent judiciary. Hong Kong’s chief executive will now be able to handpick which judges hear security cases, and where the new security law conflicts with existing Hong Kong law, the new law will prevail.
“Speaking up for human rights in Hong Kong is about to become just as dangerous there as speaking for rights in China,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley, primary author of the recent report New Law, New Threat on the impact of the national security law. “The United States government should immediately sanction officials in the Chinese and Hong Kong governments involved in human rights violations, and provide safe haven to Hong Kongers fleeing the regime.”
Under the new national security law the central Chinese government will also establish its own intelligence-gathering national security branch in Hong Kong.
“Bipartisan rhetoric and political cooperation on supporting Hong Kong has been strong in the United States,” said Dooley. “The U.S. government should expand its efforts working with allies to take urgent measures to meaningfully defend human rights and protect people who are escaping the crackdown.”
Digital surveillance of activists is likely to increase after the introduction of the law, and Human Rights First is publishing a short guide to avoiding digital surveillance, available in English and in Chinese.