HK 'can cope with security cases'

Local | 24 Jun 2021

Erin Chan

It is highly unlikely Beijing's Hong Kong-based national security office will have to intervene in the investigations of the SAR's national security cases, said Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu.

Lee said yesterday there were 110 arrests and 64 prosecutions linked to 12 national security cases since the law's implementation in June, all conducted by the Hong Kong police.

Under the national security law, the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region can take over a national security case under special circumstances upon approval by Beijing. But that is unlikely to happen, Lee said, adding that the police have successfully handled important national security cases.

Lee backed the effectiveness of the national security law in snuffing out crimes and unrest. "Hong Kong's overall crime rate has dropped four percent six months after the national security law's implementation," he said."And arson and vandalism cases have dropped eight and four percent during the same period."

But he said funds that supported illegal activities, and media, arts and publications that advocated Hong Kong independence were still active.

Meanwhile, secretary for education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said the Education Bureau willd follow up on the case of a teacher distributing copies of the Apple Daily newspaper to his colleagues.

The teacher, who teaches at a Tin Shui Wai school, brought 10 copies of Apple Daily to school last Friday, a day after five of the newspaper's executives were arrested. He was reported by his colleagues, after which the school stopped him from teaching some of his classes.

Yeung also said that his bureau revoked or denied the registration of six teachers in 2019 and seven teachers in 2020.

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