China’s national security law for Hong Kong poses a serious risk to the city’s freedoms and violates international legal obligations, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights has warned.
Beijing has been heavily criticized for the law passed in late June after anti-democracy protests rocked the semi-autonomous city last year.
The law, which criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, has intimidated and silenced many demonstrators.
In the letter published on Friday, the UN advisers warned parts of the legislation “criminalizing freedom of expression or any form of criticism of China”.
“The National Security Law … carries a serious risk that these fundamental freedoms and the protection of reasonable processes will be violated,” the rapporteurs said.
The letter warned that the legislation “could unduly interfere with the right to freedom of expression, opinion and assembly”.
She called for the appointment of a fully independent auditor of the law to ensure that it complies with China’s human rights obligations.
Critics believe the Security Act ended the core freedoms and autonomy that Beijing promised Hong Kong after it was surrendered to Hong Kong in 1997.
The broad law overnight criminalized certain political speeches, such as advocating sanctions and greater autonomy or independence for Hong Kong.
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