Claims of rights being undermined 'ungrounded': DOJ - RTHK
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Claims of rights being undermined 'ungrounded': DOJ

2021-04-17 HKT 18:59
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  • The Department of Justice said there had been 'bare assertions' that the fundamental rights and freedoms in Hong Kong have been undermined. File photo: RTHK
    The Department of Justice said there had been 'bare assertions' that the fundamental rights and freedoms in Hong Kong have been undermined. File photo: RTHK
The government has rejected criticism of recent court sentences, saying it disagrees with the "ungrounded comments" made by politicians.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Department of Justice said there had been “bare assertions” that the fundamental rights and freedoms in Hong Kong have been undermined.

“We take exception to those ungrounded comments made by certain politicians. The Government of the HKSAR always respects and attaches great importance to the rights and freedoms protected under the Basic Law. However, it should be noted that such rights and freedoms are not absolute and may be subject to restrictions,” the statement read.

It said recent criticism of court decisions was politically motivated, and warned foreign governments against attempting to meddle in the SAR's affairs.

“It is regrettable to note that the sentences imposed by court, in exercising the judicial power independently, draw some criticisms which are believed to be motivated by political overtones. We reiterate that foreign governments should not attempt to interfere in the HKSAR’s affairs under international laws and principles of non-intervention.”

Earlier, the European Union criticised the sentences handed down to media tycoon Jimmy Lai and nine other pro-democracy activists on Friday, saying they eroded basic freedoms in Hong Kong and affected EU-China relations.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also called on Beijing to stop prosecuting pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong, while the city’s last colonial governor, Chris Patten, criticised the Chinese Communist Party's "comprehensive assault on the freedoms of Hong Kong and its rule of law".