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heart Hong Kong fears freedoms will end as new law looms

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2 weeks 21 hours ago #198 by Born Again Christians

Be praying for Hong Kong in these tender days as China impose draconian measures.

The reason for all this sudden self-censorship? The impending national security law that Beijing is about to impose on Hong Kong.

The details of the draft law have yet to be unveiled, but China experts and activists in Hong Kong fear that part of the new restrictions will see China import its draconian surveillance and censorship network, known as the Great Firewall, into the city. It may not happen overnight and Hong Kong’s position as a global financial hub will mean a different approach is needed compared to mainland China. But for those most at risk of being silenced and arbitrarily thrown in prison, there's little doubt that the Great Firewall is coming for them. ...

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1 week 1 day ago #201 by Born Again Christians
To Jennifer Tsui, the looming national security law agreed last month by China’s legislature seems like the “real” return of Hong Kong to China.

When Hong Kong reverted from British to Chinese sovereignty on 1 July 1997, Tsui, then a student, was apprehensive, but her worries were allayed when things appeared almost unchanged after the handover. Hongkongers were assured their lifestyle would remain unchanged until at least 2047 under the “one country two systems” policy guaranteed in the Sino-British joint declaration.

But over the past 23 years, freedoms have been gradually eroded. Previous efforts to guard the city from China’s encroachments, such as the 2003 movement against national security legislation, and the 2014 Occupy movement to clamour for free elections of the leader and the legislature, have only resulted in tighter control by China.

Some predicted harsher measures from Beijing in the wake of the year-long anti-government protest which has disrupted the semi-autonomous city since June 2019. But nothing could have prepared Hongkongers for the shock of China’s move last month to impose a sweeping national security law through an annex of the city’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law. China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, is holding a three-day deliberation on the security law and it is expected to pass on Tuesday.

“It almost feels like an invasion,” Tsui said. “Now the knife has come down, there is no need to wait until 2047. We’re turning into China for real this time.”

Critics say the new law – targeting separatism, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces – will be used against government opponents and will undermine freedoms. Many Hongkongers fear the civil liberties they have been proud of – the rule of law, an independent judiciary, press freedom, the right to free speech and assembly – will disappear.

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