HK defends national security law at UN Human Rights CouncilLocal | 16 Sep 2020 8:45 am
The international community should be fair and not adopt a double standard on Hong Kong's National Security Law, the Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said in a video message to the . 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday.
The national security law, with 66 articles and six chapters was gazetted on June 30 in Hong Kong and became effective at 11:00pm that day.
It was passed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The legislation was listed in Annex III to the Basic Law.
On July 3, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said offences created under the new national security legislation should comply with the principle of legality, which is enshrined in article 15.1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
“Almost all countries have their own national security laws. It is unthinkable therefore that our National Security Law should be a cause for concern for some countries. The international community should be fair and not adopt a double standard,'' he said.
He said the law is designed to bolster the successful "One Country, Two Systems" which will continue to drive Hong Kong's progress. It seeks to preserve Hong Kong's core values including rights and freedoms, the rule of law and judicial independence.
Cheung said Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China. “The Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was enacted to address the increasing threat to national security in Hong Kong posed by the escalating violence by rioters during the social unrest last year. Effective measures must be taken to restore safety and stability.''
The law has been effective in restoring stability so far. Advocacies of "Hong Kong independence" and collusions with external forces have visibly subsided, as have acts of violence and blatant defiance of law and order, he said.
“The law is vital in bringing Hong Kong back on track and safeguarding our country's sovereignty, security and development interests. In implementing the law, the legitimate rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people will be protected and respected. Our fundamental rights and freedoms remain intact under the Basic Law and the relevant provisions of international covenants as applied to Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong will continue to forge ahead as a vibrant, open and international financial and business centre, with a prosperous and stable future.''
The Human Rights Council is holding its forty-fifth session from September 14 to October 2 at the United Nations Office at Geneva.-The Standard