April 12, 2024

Hong Kong’s New Domestic Security Could Suppress Dissent, Freedom

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Hong Kong’s opposition-free legislature has passed Article 23 or the Safeguarding National Security Bill. The new bill has increased the penalty for five types of offenses – treason, insurrection, sabotage, external interference, theft of state secrets, and espionage.

Various members of the legislative council have called the occasion an “important milestone” while Chief Executive John Lee said that the legislation of Article 23 is the completion of a “historical mission”.

Meanwhile, international rights groups have expressed concerns that the new law could further erode freedoms in the city.

Editor’s Note: Hong Kong politicians likened their new security law to the security laws of other Western countries such as the UK, the US, and Canada. We wonder, do they know how these states weaponized their security laws to spy on their citizens? [Read Surveillance Under the USA/PATRIOT Act, How Democracies Spy on Their Citizens, How the FBI Has Weaponized an Anti-Terrorism Law to Spy on Hundreds of Thousands of US Citizens]. If this is the case, are we expecting Hong Kong’s new National Security Law to respect citizen’s right to privacy?

All national security laws are fundamentally flawed [Read Anti-Terror Act remains dangerous and fundamentally flawed]. They are designed to protect the government, not its people. It prioritizes the interests of whoever leads the government, not its citizenry.

We add this article to this website because it is important for Filipinos to realize that we have our version of this law, the Anti-Terrorism Act [Read Duterte’s anti-terror law a dark new chapter for Philippines, experts warn, In the Name of Security]. How many times has it been used to target legitimate activists and journalists who speak out against the government [see ACTIVISTS AND JOURNALISTS TARGETED AS DRACONIAN ANTI-TERROR LAW CHALLENGED IN THE PHILIPPINES].

Do we believe that the Philippines is beyond spying on its citizens?

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