UN expresses concern over arrests in HK under new law

Gulf Today|July 04, 2020

UN expresses concern over arrests in HK under new law
UN says it is in the process of analysing contents of the new law; China appoints Yanxiong, an official known for tackling protests on the mainland, as head of a new national security agency in Hong Kong

The United Nations (UN) voiced alarm on Friday that arrests were already being made in Hong Kong under Beijing’s controversial new national security law despite “vague” definitions of the offences covered by the legislation.

The UN rights office said it was in the process of analysing the contents of the new law, which outlaws acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces.

The law was passed on Tuesday in Beijing, bypassing Hong Kong’s legislature and several people have already been arrested, and one charged.

“We are alarmed that arrests are already being made under the law with immediate effect, when there is not full information and understanding of the scope of the offences,” UN rights office spokesman Rupert Colville told a press briefing via video link.

“On a preliminary analysis, we are concerned that the definition of some of the offences contained in the law are vague and overly broad,” he said.

He warned that this could lead to “discriminatory or arbitrary interpretation and enforcement of the law, which could undermine human rights protection.”

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July 04, 2020