法政匯思毫無保留地反對《國安法》立法 (The Progressive Lawyers Group (“PLG”) unreservedly opposes the enactment of the NSL).

Open letter from 86 groups: China – scrap national security law to save Hong Kong freedoms

We are writing to express our grave concerns regarding the recent adoption by China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) of a formal decision to directly impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. We urge the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) to reject the legislation.

Hong Kong’s dark days continue

If 2019 was a year of relative success for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, 2020 has become a challenge. On the back of last year’s social unrest, the negative consequences of Hong Kong’s fight is unfolding in the new decade.

法政匯思與其他公民組織聯署就聯合國制訂問題清單的報告 Joint Submissions of Hong Kong NGOs For Adoption of List of Issues

今年六月,聯合國人權事務委員會開始審議香港履行《公民權利和政治權利國際公約》的情況,法政匯思與其他公民組織聯署就聯合國制訂問題清單(List of Issues)提交報告。內容包括港人言論及集會自由被打壓、《公安條例》對集會自由的過分限制、警察濫捕及使用過分武力、被捕人士遭受不合理對待、中國政府強推港版國安法等。

Vigil

This week: more on Hong Kong's national security law; some important developments in Hong Kong politics; reflections on the June 4th anniversary, including related nourishment & consolation; and the usual mandatory dose of self-promotion.

Despair and defiance as Hong Kong mounts its last stand

HONG KONG -- The last days of May were just another weekend in downtown Hong Kong. Alan, a 20-year-old university student, helped to build barricades from trash cans and bricks dug up from pedestrian streets nearby. He was calm as he used a pair of binoculars to monitor the waiting riot police, alerting the crowd with improvised hand signals as the line advanced. As clouds of tear gas swirled, the black-clad protesters retreated, chanting, "Free Hong Kong!" "It's a bit deja vu, really," he said. Alan has joined the protests almost every week since they began last summer, stopping only when the COVID-19 outbreak cleared the streets.

Global Protest Movements: Hong Kong Protesters Confront Beijing’s Power

Our Convenor Angeline Chan spoke to CQ Press on Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement: "A lot of the protesters...feel that if they don't resist, the way of life we know in Hong Kong will disappear...They're fighting because they feel they have no choice”

China’s new ‘rule of law’ in Hong Kong sets stage for new protests

Now that China’s virus crisis has calmed — and the rest of the world is distracted by the pandemic — Beijing’s newcomers in Hong Kong are trying to stop the likely return of last year’s protests, which evolved from resistance to an extradition bill to a citywide anti-government movement.

22條爭議,揭開《基本法》最後的遮醜布

中聯辦日前聲稱,有權監督香港「政治體制的正常運作」和「關於社會整體利益的事宜」,引發極大爭議。面對民主派指斥其違反《基本法》第22條第一款,即「中央人民政府所屬各部門……均不得干預香港特別行政區根據本法自行管理的事務」,中聯辦辯稱他們「不是一般意義上的『中央人民政府所屬各部門』」。原來政府部門也有區分為「一般意義」和「非一般意義」,中聯辦動物農莊式的「釋法」,令香港人大開眼界,也揭開了《基本法》和「港人治港,高度自治」最後的遮醜布。

法政匯思就中央對一國兩制的嚴重威脅 及香港政府針對民主派人士搜捕的聲明 (Statement on Beijing’s Serious Threat to ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and the Hong Kong Government’s Mass Arrest of Pro-democracy Activists)

We issued a statement on recent events including the Liaison Office's statement issued on 17 April and the Hong Kong Government’s mass arrest of pro-democracy activists, which seriously threaten ‘One Country, Two Systems’.

We issued a statement on the remarks made by the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council on 13 April, which patently run afoul of the Basic Law and the “one country, two systems" framework.

The death of press freedom: A ban on journalists in Hong Kong would be unworkable

In a hastily put-together statement issued after midnight yesterday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced a ban on journalists at three top American press media outlets. According to the statement, U.S. nationals working for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post have ten days to surrender their press cards and will be prohibited from working in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

法政匯思就北京回應香港高等法院有關禁蒙面法判決的聲明 (Statement on Beijing’s Reaction to High Court’s Mask Ruling)

香港高等法院於2019年11月18日裁定香港特區政府引用《緊急情況規例條例》(下稱《緊急法》)禁止市民於公眾地方蒙面的規例「不符合基本法」,並強調該於2019年10月5日起生效的規例過分地限制基本權利及自由。(On 18 November 2019, the High Court ruled that the Hong Kong SAR government’s ban on face coverings in public places under the Emergency Regulations Ordinance (the “ERO”) was “incompatible with the Basic Law” and that the new law, which had gone into effect since 5 October, imposed excessive restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms.)

The Fate of Hong Kong’s Christians

Christians in Hong Kong overwhelmingly support the mass protests that have disrupted the region for the last two months. Millions, including many Christians, have taken to the streets to protest a proposed extradition bill.

Umbrella Movement 2.0 exposes flaws in “one country, two systems”

The Progressive Lawyers Group explains the current law does not allow mainland China to extradite suspects from Hong Kong, but once the amendments are made, anyone who is considered a suspect by mainland China can be sent to the Chinese court, regardless of nationality, as soon as they set foot in Hong Kong.

The Express Rail Co-location Case: The Hong Kong Judiciary’s Retreat

PLG member Alvin Cheung writes: "The independence and relevance of Hong Kong’s judiciary may now be in doubt [...] Interventions from Beijing are likely to dictate outcomes to Hong Kong’s courts not only in cases directly involving political rights, but also cases that involve major policy initiatives such as public infrastructure projects."

Hong Kong journalists’ club in free speech dispute

A fringe pro-independence party and a historic journalists’ club have been thrust into the forefront of the intensifying battle over free speech and the rule of law in Hong Kong, a semi- autonomous Chinese territory that has long prided itself on its civic freedoms.

‘Tool of suppression’: 38 groups urge Hong Kong gov’t to withdraw Chinese national anthem bill

Thirty-eight civil society groups (including the Progressive Lawyers Group) and political parties have urged the Hong Kong government to withdraw a national anthem bill, arguing that it violates citizens’ rights to fundamental freedoms.

Lawfare Waged by the Hong Kong Government Is Crushing the Hopes of Democrats

Law is being used to silence the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

One in three pro-democracy legislators has been prosecuted by the government since the Umbrella Movement of 2014. More than 100 democracy activists and protestors have been prosecuted. The secretary of justice has constantly sought to maximize sentencing, slapping years of jail time on young students and digging up obscure, outdated charges – designed for 19th century Britain, not 21st  century Hong Kong – to increase the time that pro-democracy figures spend in jail.

‘Worst precedent since handover’: Lawyers hit out at gov’t’s legal justification for joint checkpoint rail plan

Progressive Lawyers’ Group has once again voiced its concern over the controversial joint checkpoint arrangement for the high speed rail link, saying that it remains unconvinced by the government’s legal justification.