Lawmakers caution against suppressing freedoms through National Party ban

Local | 17 Jul 2018 5:07 pm

The opposition has cautioned the government against using a rarely-used legal provision to act against the Hong Kong National Party. Lawmaker Charles Mok said the administration's planned move is a direct contradiction of the freedoms guaranteed by the Basic Law, RTHK reports.

Professional Commons legislator Mok said he believes there are some "forces beyond our government" that are trying to use such incidents to try and divide Hong Kong society, to divert attention from the need to hold talks with all groups including the younger generation.

He also said a law that was originally intended to tackle criminal activities is now being used to clamp down on political dissent.

"The political problems that we are facing right now obviously cannot be solved by the so-called banning of a particular small political group," he said. "It is actually going to make the problem worse," he warned.

Hong Kong First lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching agreed with Mok. "The government's action shows that anyone can become a target. Anyone could be a sitting duck as far as the government is concerned," she said.

The Democratic Party's chairman, Wu Chi-wai, said the government's proposed action threatens Hong Kong people's right to freedom of speech and right to assembly.

Disqualified lawmaker Nathan Law Kwun-chung – whose Demosisto party backs self-determination for Hong Kong and which like the HKNP has not been able to register as a legal entity – urged the public to be aware of further attempts by the government to suppress political expression.

Law said the government has exhausted administrative measures against the political opposition and is now changing tactics to ban groups outright.

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