Sat, 04 Dec 2021

Hong Kong. October 13 (ANI): After United Nations' special rapporteurs chided the Hong Kong national security law, the city's government on Wednesday said that enactment of the law is in line with the international practice of safeguarding national security and sovereignty of each country.

In response to a statement on the national security law by United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs, the Hong Kong's Department of Justice (DoJ) said Hong Kong's legal system and rule of law remain robust with law and order restored, enabling Hong Kong residents to enjoy their rights and freedoms in a safe and peaceful environment, Xinhua reported.

The national security law clearly stipulates that the HKSAR shall protect the rights and freedoms enjoyed by residents under the HKSAR Basic Law and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as applied to Hong Kong in accordance with the law, the DoJ said.

"However, such rights and freedoms are not absolute. It must be borne in mind that the ICCPR expressly states that they may be subject to restrictions as prescribed by law that are necessary for the protection of national security, public safety, public order or the rights and freedoms of others, and more," the department added.

Four UN special rapporteurs issued the statement on Tuesday, questioning the impact of the national security law on fair trials.

"Terrorism and sedition charges are being improperly used to stifle the exercise of fundamental rights, which are protected under international law, including freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to participate in public affairs", the Special Rapporteurs said, urging authorities to refrain from the using the National Security Law and to reconsider its application.

In a written analysis, the experts detailed their concerns about the National Security Law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to the Government of China, highlighting the law's fundamental incompatibility with international law and the country's human rights obligations.

The UN experts also raised their concerns over the qualification concerning the charge of "foreign agent", under the Law, in which reference is made to funding received from foreign governments and activities benefitting them. (ANI)

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