Govt condemns smearing of Art 23 security laws - RTHK
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Govt condemns smearing of Art 23 security laws

2024-02-20 HKT 21:30
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  • Govt condemns smearing of Art 23 security laws
Secretary for Security Chris Tang on Tuesday condemned a joint statement signed by dozens of concern groups calling for public opposition against planned domestic national security legislation, saying their allegations are misleading and false.

The UK-based group, Hong Kong Watch had issued a statement co-signed by more than 80 other organisations alleging that the proposed legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law would criminalise people’s exercise of human rights here and undermine the right to a fair trial.

The statement also called on foreign governments to express opposition to the proposed legislation, and for ‘targeted sanctions’ to be imposed on officials responsible for introducing the law.

Tang told reporters the statement smears Hong Kong’s legitimate effort to introduce national security legislation in line with common international practice.

"There are similar laws in other countries, not only in Hong Kong. Why can countries like the United States and the United Kingdom have such laws, but Hong Kong can't? Why are our officials being sanctioned for helping to implement the legislation?" he asked.

Tang added that officials had explained the legislation to various foreign consulates and overseas business chambers and that they clearly understood the issue.

A government spokesman also said the joint declaration showed that Hong Kong still faced national security threats.

"The SAR government will complete the legislative work as soon as possible to plug the national security loopholes," the spokesman said in a statement.

Govt condemns smearing of Art 23 security laws