Amnesty International leaves Hong Kong due to national security law

Because of “Hong Kong’s National Security Law, which makes it impossible for human rights organizations to operate freely and without fear of serious reprisals from the government,” Amnesty International will be leaving Hong Kong. The organization, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1977, announced Monday, October 25, that it would close its local branch at the end of the month and then, at the end of the year, its office for South Asia. -East-Pacific, which is also in the city.

“The recent targeting of local rights groups and unions is a signal of an intensified campaign by the authorities to rid the city of dissent. It is increasingly difficult for us to continue working in such an unstable environment ”, justified, in a statement, the president of the international office of the NGO, Anjhula Mya Singh Bais.

On Tuesday, Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, said the law still guarantees freedom of association. According to her, those who invoke the national security law to end their activities “Cannot prove” that it is because of this that they make this decision.

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Entered into force on June 30, 2020, the National Security Law, imposed by Beijing, severely punishes any offense considered by China to constitute secession, subversion, collusion with foreign forces or terrorism.. “The environment of repression and perpetual uncertainty created by the law on national security makes it impossible to know which activities could lead to criminal sanctions”, deplores Amnesty International.

Financing problematic

Over 70 people, many of the city’s most prominent pro-democracy activists, have been indicted under the bill, most of them simply expressing now illegal political views.

In July, the first Hong Kong man tried under the new law was sentenced to nine years in prison for riding a motorbike at a police officer while waving a flag bearing writings considered subversive.

A second defendant was found guilty on Monday October 25 of “secession” for chanting slogans such as: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time!” “ Jailed for ten months, the young man, the first person to be sentenced for a non-violent offense against national security, will serve his sentence later. He faces seven years in prison. Trials related to the National Security Law are conducted without a jury and before magistrates specially selected by the government.

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Amnesty International leaves Hong Kong due to national security law