Hong Kong Freedoms Rapidly Deteriorating, Warns HRW

By Eurasia Review

This article first appeared in eurasiareview 28 Jun 2018
Link to original article:  HERE

Hong Kong’s protection of civil and political rights is deteriorating at a quickening pace, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam. July 1, 2018, is the 21st anniversary of Hong Kong’s transfer from British to Chinese control. Continue reading “Hong Kong Freedoms Rapidly Deteriorating, Warns HRW”

HKJA: National anthem bill does not conform with Basic Law

By ejinsight

This article first appeared in ejinsight.com on 20 June 2018
Link to original article:  HERE

The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) expressed strong opposition to a draft of the national anthem law proposed by the Hong Kong government, saying it can restrict freedom of expression and does not conform with the Basic Law.

In its submission on the draft of the bill, the HKJA said the proposal does not clearly stipulate the legal responsibilities media outlets might have to assume when they publish acts that are considered insulting to the national anthem, the March of the Volunteers, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

As such, the bill fails to offer media outlets the protection that they need to be immune to prosecution when carrying out their responsibilities, the HKJA said.

The law took effect on Oct. 1 in mainland China. The SAR government aims to finish the first reading of the bill in July before the summer recess begins.

If the draft is passed, media outlets would be unable to assess if their reports are breaking the law since there are no precedents on what constitutes insulting or derogating the national anthem.

In that case, some would most likely refrain from publishing related stories, which in turn will create a chilling effect that works against free expression, the HKJA said.

The association also criticized the draft for not complying with Article 39 of the Basic Law, which provides that “[t]he provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and international labour conventions as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force and shall be implemented through the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region”.

On Nov. 4 last year, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed a proposal to add the new law to Annex III of the Basic Law, which requires Hong Kong to legislate its version of the law and implement it.

The HKJA said some of the punishments listed in the draft are heavier than those implemented in the mainland.

According to the association, one who, in a public venue, deliberately alters the lyrics or the score of the national anthem, or performs or sings the national anthem in a distorted or derogatory manner, or insults the national anthem in any other manner can receive a warning or be detained for up to 15 days by public security departments.

But a person convicted for a similar violation in Hong Kong, as suggested by the bill, may face a fine of up to HK$50,000 and three years imprisonment.

Hong Kong: Only mass struggle can defeat repression

A week hardly passes without the Chinese dictatorship stepping up its pressure on Hong Kong

Editorial from Socialist magazine (Journal of the CWI / Socialist Action)

Beijing is pushing for greater political control and to quell Hong Kong’s culture of mass democracy protests. Most recently it has been cranking up the volume with calls for Article 23, a national security law that would criminalise opposition to the Communist Party (CCP) regime.

Independence

Growing pro-independence sentiment among young people in Hong Kong has rattled the regime. Repression inevitably creates a backlash, but the dictatorship doesn’t learn and believes force and intimidation are the solutions to its problems.

Continue reading “Hong Kong: Only mass struggle can defeat repression”

2017: Year of the crackdown in Hong Kong

Disrespect for national anthem punishible by three years in prison – latest installment in a wave of undemocratic measures

Adam N. Lee, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong)

The Stop Repression in Hong Kong campaign was launched to highlight the rapidly worsening attacks on democratic rights by Hong Kong’s government.

Socialist Action initiated this campaign in consultation with left organisations and worker activists in several countries. Key assistance has been given by the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI), the international socialist organisation with parties and groups in 40 countries. In October, protesters in 22 cities around the world – from Bangalore to Vancouver – answered the call of the campaign to demonstrate outside China’s embassies.

The great crackdown of 2017 has seen six legislators undemocratically ejected from Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (Legco), giving the pro-government parties a ‘super majority’ that enables them to rewrite the Legco rule-book in their favour.

This is not at all what the voters wanted in the September 2016 Legco elections, when the pro-government camp suffered one of its biggest defeats in terms of votes. In that election the combined opposition parties got 60 percent of the vote, an increase from 56 percent in the elections of 2012. This was obtained on the highest election turnout for two decades.

The establishment’s purge of the Legco has nothing to do with ‘rules’ or ‘oaths’ – that was a legal smokescreen created by the Chinese dictatorship and its Hong Kong puppets. Its real purpose is to attack the most radical voices in the democracy struggle, such as ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung, and try to eliminate these forces from the struggle. This will not succeed and can actually blow up in the government’s faces, increasing public support for the ‘radicals’.

Under Beijing’s pressure, which ultimately reflects its fear of mass radicalisation spreading from Hong Kong to China, the news media in Hong Kong is increasingly a megaphone for China’s dictatorship. Reporters Without Borders lowered Hong Kong’s press freedom ranking in 2017 to 73 (out of 180 countries). This ranking has been falling year after year since 2002, when Hong Kong was ranked 18 in the world. China is ranked 176, the fourth worst in the world.

Read more: Global protests in 20 countries against Hong Kong repression ➵

Continue reading “2017: Year of the crackdown in Hong Kong”

Hong Kong soccer fans defy China anthem law

National anthem law to be implemented in Hong Kong, Macao

Xinhua

China’s top legislature on Saturday adopted decisions to apply the newly-adopted National Anthem Law in Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions.

According to the decisions, the National Anthem Law, taking effect on Oct. 1, will be included in Annex III of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and Annex III in the Basic Law of the Macao SAR, which lists national laws to be applied in the two regions.