Law won't be retroactive, Carrie Lam tells the UN - RTHK
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Law won't be retroactive, Carrie Lam tells the UN

2020-06-30 HKT 17:34
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  • Law won't be retroactive, Carrie Lam tells the UN
Chief Executive Carrie Lam told the United Nations on Tuesday that Hong Kong's national security law will not be applied retroactively.

In a pre-recorded video message to the UN Human Rights Council, Lam explained that the legislation is urgently needed to tackle a "gaping hole" in national security.

"Since last June, Hong Kong has been traumatised by escalating violence fanned by external forces," she said, adding that innocent Hong Kong people have faced a "horrible menace" and threats of "terrorist acts".

"During this period, groups advocating 'Hong Kong independence' and 'self-determination' incited protesters, very often radicalised young people, to desecrate and burn the national flag, vandalise the national emblem and storm the central government's office in Hong Kong," she said.

"Further, some local politicians proclaimed that they would paralyse the Hong Kong SAR government while others campaigned for foreign governments to interfere in Hong Kong's affairs or even to impose sanctions on Hong Kong."

"No central government could turn a blind eye to such threats to sovereignty and national security as well as risks of subversion of state power."

Lam said the law will only target an "extremely small minority of people", while the basic rights and freedoms of "the overwhelming majority of Hong Kong residents" will be protected.

She added that the presumption of innocence will be maintained, the law will have no retrospective effect, and that except in "rare specified situations", Hong Kong will exercise jurisdiction over cases brought under the legislation.

Earlier in the day, the CE refused to answer questions from reporters on the legislation, even though it had already been approved by Beijing.