EU & UN Say, Hong Kong’s New National Security Bill Is Deeply Worrying And Could Erode Fundamental Freedoms In China-Ruled City

The European Union and the United Nations said Hong Kong’s new national security bill is deeply worrying and could erode fundamental freedoms in the China-ruled city. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk in a statement said that it is alarming that such consequential legislation was rushed through the legislature despite serious concerns raised about the incompatibility of many of its provisions with international human rights law.

The package, known as Article 23, punishes offences including treason, sabotage, sedition, the theft of state secrets, external interference and espionage with sentences ranging from several years to life imprisonment.

The European Union said in a separate statement that it was concerned about the potential impact on the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. It also added that the bill had the potential to “significantly” affect the work of the EU’s office as well as organisations and companies in Hong Kong.

Britain said the legislation would impact Hong Kong’s reputation as an international city that respects the rule of law, has independent institutions and protects its citizens’ freedoms.

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