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Business News/ News / UK Says New Hong Kong Security Bill Breaches Handover Deal
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UK Says New Hong Kong Security Bill Breaches Handover Deal

Hong Kong’s new security legislation breaches its international obligations including the handover deal signed by the UK and China, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said.

UK Says New Hong Kong Security Bill Breaches Handover DealPremium
UK Says New Hong Kong Security Bill Breaches Handover Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong’s new security legislation breaches its international obligations including the handover deal signed by the UK and China, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said.

The legislative proposals will inhibit freedom of speech, expression and the press, Cameron said in a statement Wednesday. He also cited concerns over the risk of work done by international organizations in Hong Kong being labeled “foreign interference," provisions that threaten diplomatic and consular activity and an absence of reference to independent oversight.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee formally proposed legislation on Jan. 30, with a one-month consultation period, to pass the city’s own security law, including stepped-up efforts to ward against foreign interference.

The law would cover offenses including treason, sedition, and digital acts that endanger national security. It’s additional to the national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020 that silenced dissent and wiped out many activist groups.

Read More: Hong Kong’s Security Law to Expand Definition of State Secrets

“My officials have raised our concerns privately with the Hong Kong authorities and through the public consultation process," Cameron said, adding that he “strongly" urged the government there to “re-consider their proposals and engage in genuine and meaningful consultation with the people of Hong Kong."

Cameron also cited concerns about a lack of clarity on procedures to govern detention without charge, the absence of a judicial oversight mechanism, and a failure to include “independent and robust mechanisms to safeguard against arbitrary action by the executive on national security grounds."

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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Published: 29 Feb 2024, 12:45 AM IST
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