National Security Law in Hong Kong gazetted, police to set up National Security Department tomorrow

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30th June 2020 – (Hong Kong) The Hong Kong Government gazetted the National Security Law at 11pm tonight (30th), mentioning that the Police Force will set up the National Security Department tomorrow, 1st July, to handle the relevant work on a full-time basis. The Gazette stated that when the National Security Office handles national security crimes, it can take various measures under the existing laws of the Special Administrative Region granted to the police to investigate serious crimes and other measures stipulated by the National Security Law. The National Security Office is authorised to formulate relevant implementation rules for taking the above measures.

The Hong Kong version of National Security Law clearly stipulates the specific composition and corresponding criminal liability for four types of crimes, namely acts of secession, subversion of state power, terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security.  The Hong Kong Police Force will resolutely enforce the law.

The Hong Kong version of National Security Law has 66 articles and is divided into six chapters. They are the General Provisions, Hong Kong’s Responsibilities and Institutions for Maintaining National Security, Crimes and Penalties, Case Jurisdiction, Law Application and Procedures, and the Central Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for Maintaining National Security Institutions and Supplementary Provisions. The purpose of the provisions is to prevent, stop and punish the criminal acts of secession, subverting state power, organising terrorist activities and colluding with foreign forces or with external elements to endanger national security, maintaining the prosperity and stability of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and protecting the lawful rights and interests of residents of the Special Administrative Region.

The government’s press release lists that in three specific situations, the case can be referred to the National Security Office in Hong Kong to exercise jurisdiction, including 1. The involvement of foreign or external forces and the jurisdiction of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is indeed difficult, 2. The Hong Kong government cannot effectively implement the National Security Law, 3. National security faces major practical threats. The above situation needs to be submitted by the SAR Government or the National Security Office in Hong Kong and reported to the Central People’s Government for approval. Except in certain circumstances, the Hong Kong Government exercises jurisdiction in accordance with the National Security Law of the Hong Kong District and the local laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, including litigation procedures such as investigation, prosecution, trial, and execution of penalties.

 In response to the various criminal acts that endanger national security, the Hong Kong Police Force will conduct arrests and take other law enforcement actions in accordance with the National Security Law and the Laws of Hong Kong to protect the life and property of Hong Kong citizens and the basic rights and freedoms they enjoy under the law.

The HKSAR is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China, and the Hong Kong Police Force is fully responsible for safeguarding the security of Hong Kong as well as our Country. The Hong Kong Police Force will fully perform its duties and strictly enforce the law to restore social order and ensure the effective implementation of the National Security Law in the HKSAR to safeguard national security.

Meanwhile, Beijing will set up a national security office in Hong Kong for the first time and could also exercise jurisdiction on certain cases. Judges for security cases are expected to be appointed by the city’s chief executive. Senior judges now allocate rosters up through Hong Kong’s independent judicial system.

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