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Current Affairs

Hong Kong’s National Security Law

Date: 29 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The first person to undergo trial under the infamous Hong Kong National security law was found guilty of charges.

 

Background

The Chinese parliament had passed the Hong Kong National security law amidst world-wide concern. It was said to affect only extreme criminals.

 

Details

  • The passing of the law had invited widespread protests in Hong Kong. Many people were arrested and charged under the law, including the trialed person.

  • The person was charged for carrying flag with slogan “liberate Hong Kong” and also driving his motorcycle on anti-riot policemen.

  • The judges were of the opinion that the individual undertook the step with an intention of splitting the country and was found to be guilty.

  • The case was heard by a three-judge bench instead of the jury. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong had chosen the judges.

 

Criticism

  • People say that a jury trial was denied to a person in Hong Kong for the first time in 176 years. He was also denied bail against common law traditions.

  • The right of jury trial is one of the important features of Hong Kong’s legal system. Its intention was to protect people from misuse of power by authorities.

 

National security law

  • China had passed the National Security Law in June last year, just before the 23rd anniversary of transfer of control from Britain.

  • It was made part of Hong Kong’s legal system after getting passed unanimously in China’s National Assembly.

  • Offences under the law include Terrorist Activities, collusion with foreign countries or agencies to endanger national security, secession etc.

  • The maximum punishment that can be given under the law is life imprisonment. Lesser punishment can be given based on the level of offence.