Hong Kong Clergy Could Face Arrest Under New Security Laws
06/21/2020 Hong Kong (International Christian Concern) – As the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the main law-making body in China finishes its latest meeting, many are worried that the proposed national security law for Hong Kong would be passed and further erode the city’s human rights and freedoms.
While the official draft of the laws has yet to be officially released, the controversial legislation that was submitted Thursday for deliberation, covers four categories of crimes: succession, subversion of state power, local terrorist activities and collaborating with foreign or external foreign forces to endanger national security.
Under such laws, vocal Hong Kong clergy who have been supportive of Hong Kong’s democracy movement, such as Cardinal Joseph Zen and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing, could be extradited to mainland China to be tried, since Beijing considers them to be threats to the regime.
Other hundreds of protestant leaders or Christian organizations who have actively spoken out against the Hong Kong government might face the same fate, since Beijing has said it considers the mass protests that began last June as terrorist acts and any calls for Hong Kong’s independence from China as acts of sedition.
China’s notorious legal system and its lack of transparency can easily criminalize anybody and place them in jail. Many Chinese pastors and Christians, such as pastor Wang Yi, elder Qin Derfu, pastor John Cao, are now imprisoned for trumped-up charges, such as “subversion of state power”, “illegal border crossing,” and “illegal business operation.”
Many fear with the passing of this legislation, Hong Kong will forever lose the “One Country, Two Systems” status and merely turn itself into an ordinary coastal city in China.
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