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Hong Kong Police Make First Arrest Under New Security Law

A lady walks previous a promotional banner of the nationwide safety legislation for Hong Kong, in Hong Kong, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. China has authorized a contentious legislation that may enable authorities to crack down on subversive and secessionist exercise in Hong Kong, sparking fears that it will be used to curb opposition voices within the semi-autonomous territory. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

The man was intercepted by police and was arrested after police had issued a number of warnings to the group warning that they is perhaps in violation of the nationwide safety legislation, which took impact Tuesday at 11 p.m. (1500 GMT).

  • Associated Press Hong Kong
  • Last Updated: July 1, 2020, 12:10 PM IST

Hong Kong police have made their first arrest below a brand new nationwide safety legislation, arresting a protester for carrying a flag calling for Hong Kong independence at a protest Wednesday within the metropolis’s Causeway Bay buying district.

The man was intercepted by police and was arrested after police had issued a number of warnings to the group warning that they is perhaps in violation of the nationwide safety legislation, which took impact Tuesday at 11 p.m. (1500 GMT).

Hong Kong’s chief strongly endorsed the brand new safety legislation China’s central authorities is imposing on the semi-autonomous territory in her speech marking Wednesday’s anniversary of its handover from colonial Britain.

“This decision was necessary and timely to maintain Hong Kong’s stability,” Carrie Lam mentioned following a flag elevating ceremony and the enjoying of China’s nationwide anthem.

A professional-democracy political occasion, The League of Social Democrats, organized a protest march through the flag-raising ceremony previous Lam’s speech. About a dozen members chanted slogans echoing calls for from protesters final 12 months for political reform and an investigation into accusation of police abuse.

The legislation’s passage Tuesday additional blurs the excellence between the authorized programs of semi-autonomous Hong Kong, which maintained elements of British legislation after the 1997 handover, and the mainland’s authoritarian Communist Party system. Critics say the legislation successfully ends the “one country, two systems” framework below which Hong Kong was promised a excessive diploma of autonomy.

The legislation instantly targets a number of the actions of anti-government protesters final 12 months, which included assaults on authorities workplaces and police stations, injury to subway stations, and the shutdown of town’s worldwide airport. Acts of vandalism in opposition to authorities amenities or public transit will be prosecuted as subversion or terrorism, whereas anybody participating in actions deemed as secessionist would even be in violation of the brand new legislation.

The legislation takes quick impact and its penalties may come swiftly. Hong Kong’s police power issued a press release saying they’d think about as unlawful any flag or banner raised by protesters deemed to be selling Hong Kong’s separation from China or expressing assist for independence for Tibet, Xinjiang and the self-governing island democracy of Taiwan that China claims as its personal.

Concerns have additionally been raised over the destiny of key opposition figures, a few of whom have already been charged for participating in protests, in addition to the disqualification of candidates for the Legislative Council elections scheduled for September.

Under the legislation, these discovered responsible of inciting secessionist, subversive, terrorist actions and colluding with international forces may face life imprisonment if they’re deemed masterminds of such actions.

Schools, social teams, media shops, web sites and others unspecified can be monitored and their nationwide safety consciousness can be raised, in accordance with the textual content, whereas China’s central authorities can have authority over the actions of international non-governmental organizations and media shops in Hong Kong.

It says central authorities our bodies in Hong Kong will take over in “complicated cases” and when there’s a severe menace to nationwide safety. Local authorities are barred from interfering with central authorities our bodies working in Hong Kong whereas they’re finishing up their duties, in accordance with the textual content.

The laws was mandated below Hong Kong’s native structure however an earlier try and move it within the metropolis’s legislative physique in 2003 was shelved within the face of huge public opposition. Having misplaced persistence, Beijing lastly determined to bypass the Hong Kong legislature and have it handed Tuesday by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s rubber-stamp parliament.

President Xi Jinping signed a presidential order placing the legislation into impact and it has been added to the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s structure.

The U.S. has already begun strikes to finish particular commerce phrases given to the territory. The Trump administration has additionally mentioned it can bar protection exports to Hong Kong and can quickly require licenses for the sale of things which have each civilian and navy makes use of, citing the potential of them falling into the fingers of the People’s Liberation Army, which owes its loyalty to China’s ruling Communist Party.

Congress has additionally moved to impose sanctions on individuals deemed related to political repression in Hong Kong, together with police officers, whereas Britain has mentioned it may supply residency and attainable citizenship to about three million of Hong Kong’s 7.5 million individuals.

China has mentioned it can impose visa restrictions on Americans it sees as interfering over Hong Kong.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced the specter of a visa ban as an indication of “how Beijing refuses to take duty for its personal selections” and said the law’s adoption “destroys the territory’s autonomy and one of China’s greatest achievements.”

Beijing’s “paranoia and concern of its personal individuals’s aspirations have led it to eviscerate the very basis of the territory’s success,” Pompeo mentioned in a press release.

The legislation’s passage comes after Hong Kong’s legislature in early June authorized a contentious invoice making it unlawful to insult the Chinese nationwide anthem. Pro-China figures have additionally been pushing for extra “patriotic” training to be launched into the curriculum in hopes that can increase their identification with Beijing.

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