Feb 23, 2024 | News

“On 28 February, the Hong Kong government’s public consultation for new security legislation, known locally as Article 23, will end. Article 23 includes procedural changes that will dramatically undermine the Hong Kong people’s due process and fair trial rights, which are already deteriorating. It will prohibit new types of offenses, and will criminalize people’s peaceful exercises of human rights.

We are extremely concerned that Article 23 will exacerbate Beijing’s oppression in Hong Kong, and further undermine basic rights and freedoms, which have already been almost completely dismantled as a result of the imposition of the 2020 National Security Law. Hong Kong continues to violate the Sino-British Joint Declaration and its obligations under international human rights treaties. I urge the British government to publicly speak out and condemn the proposed Article 23 legislation and Hong Kong’s violations of its international agreements.

Furthermore, despite inviting opinions through a public consultation, the Hong Kong government has condemned civil society organisations for criticising Article 23 in a letter signed by 86 organisations, initiated by Hong Kong Watch, of which I am a Patron. I stand in solidarity with these courageous organisations and am deeply concerned by these threats to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.”

David Alton
23rd February 2024.

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