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Hong Kong Security Law: two months on

September 3, 2020 11:00 AM
By Layla Moran
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The new law, aimed at stamping out protests that have racked Hong Kong for the past year, can "prevent, stop and punish any acts or activities" that severely endanger national security." Such charges are often used in mainland China to silence dissidents and other political opponents. It has already been used to silence people.

This new law crushes what was left of the 'one country, two systems' framework.

The legislation, which has been described as a "death knell" for Hong Kong, also allows Beijing's security forces to operate in the city.

Legal observers and human rights advocates say the national security laws not only target protesters and their supporters, but permanently undermine the city's freedoms and rights as promised under the "one country two systems" framework.

During the Handover, the late Paddy Ashdown passionately argued that the people of Hong Kong should be given the right to live in the UK if they held BNO passports.

The UK Government's extension of visa rights for BNOs is welcome news.

However, it is not good enough for this offer to only apply to BNO status holders and their dependents, as the Government have so far suggested. This leaves behind many young Hong Kongers who have been at the centre of the calls for democracy.

The Government need to go further. All Hong Kongers must have their rights and freedoms protected, regardless of BNO status.

It is time to step up and stand with Hong Kong.

That's why Alistair Carmichael has tabled a Bill that would re-open the offer of a British National Overseas (BNO) passports for Hong Kong citizens and extend the scheme to provide the "right of abode", allowing a person to live or work indefinitely in the UK.

We are calling on the Government to support our Bill, which will have its second reading in Parliament on 23rd October 2020.

The UK government to ensure that no one is left behind. It is time to step up and stand with Hong Kong.