This file photo taken on June 29, 2020 shows a billboard promoting the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in the Central district in Hong Kong. (WANG SHEN / XINHUA)
The commissioners’ office of the ministry of foreign affairs in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and local bar association on Thursday slammed some Western politicians for a smearing campaign against the city’s National Security Law and its lawful enforcement actions under the law.
In a statement, a spokesman for the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region expressed strong opposition to some politicians in the United States, Canada and the European Union for making baseless accusations against lawful enforcement actions by Hong Kong police who had arrested five people under the NSL.
A spokesman for the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the HKSAR added that the Hong Kong Police arrested those who allegedly endangered national security based on statutory procedures, which is necessary to guarantee the city’s safety and justice
The five were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday over their roles in the “612 Humanitarian Relief Fund”, which raised funds to provide legal aid for those who were injured and arrested during the social unrest.
Police investigations revealed that the people concerned are alleged to have asked foreign countries or external institutions to impose sanctions against the HKSAR, and are suspected of committing the offense of “conspiracy to collude with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security”, in contravention of Article 29 of the National Security Law for Hong Kong.
The spokesman for the commissioner’s office said that rights and freedoms are not “a shield for illegal disruptive activities in Hong Kong”.
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The spokesman said that Hong Kong is governed by the rule of law, where laws are observed and strictly enforced, and lawbreakers are prosecuted. He added that the Hong Kong Police arrested those who allegedly endangered national security based on statutory procedures, which is necessary to guarantee the city’s safety and justice.
In a separate statement, a Hong Kong SAR government spokesman said that no one is above the law, nor can anyone break the law without bearing responsibility.
Any law enforcement actions taken by law enforcement agencies are based on evidence, strictly according to the law and for the acts of those people concerned, and have nothing to do with their profession or religion, the spokesman said.
The spokesman pointed out that acts and activities that endanger national security may have very serious consequences, and hence actions must be taken to prevent and suppress such acts and activities, to ensure that individuals endangering national security face the legal consequences of their actions.
The Department of Justice and the Hong Kong Bar Association condemned seven US lawmakers’ call for Washington to impose sanctions on judges designated to adjudicate National Security Law cases in the Hong Kong judiciary as well as prosecutors
On the same day, the Department of Justice and the Hong Kong Bar Association condemned seven US lawmakers’ call for Washington to impose sanctions on judges designated to adjudicate National Security Law cases in the Hong Kong judiciary as well as prosecutors.
In its response, the Department of Justice said, “Any state (that) unilaterally imposes coercive measures on other government officials or individuals with a view to interfering with the internal affairs or exercise of the sovereign power of another state is (acting) contrary to international law and the UN framework, and most importantly violates the principle of nonintervention under international law”.
It added that Article 63 of the Basic Law guarantees that prosecutions are free from interference, and that its officers will continue to carry out their duties in a professional manner without fear or favor.
In a statement, the Hong Kong Bar Association, the city’s professional body for barristers, deplored and condemned the move by the US lawmakers “in its strongest terms”. It said that there can be no question about the integrity and independence of Hong Kong judges, whose selection, appointment and discharge of their constitutional role and duties are free from any political considerations and interference.
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It is of fundamental importance to the rule of law in Hong Kong and elsewhere that the judiciary, judges, and judicial officers are allowed to operate and exercise their judicial power independently and free from any interference, the statement read.
Former director of public prosecutions of the HKSAR Grenville Cross said that the seven men are politically motivated troublemakers, intent on intimidating Hong Kong judges and prosecutors and undermining the rule of law in Hong Kong.
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