Hong Kong: National Security

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Development), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to his Department’s speech transcript, UN Human Rights Council 45: UK statement on China for item 4 general debate published on 25 September 2020, what assessment his Department has made of the number of people detained without trial under Hong Kong's new National Security Law imposed by Chinese authorities and (b) what steps his Department is taking to address such a breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Beijing's imposition on Hong Kong of the National Security Law (NSL) is a serious breach of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration. It violates the high degree of autonomy of executive and legislative powers and independent judicial authority, provided for in the Joint Declaration. We understand that as of 12 October 2020, one person has been charged under the NSL and denied bail. According to the Hong Kong Police Force's latest figures, a further 27 people have been arrested under the NSL and released on bail.

The Foreign Secretary set out his concerns about the situation in Hong Kong to Chinese State Councillor and Minister for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi on 8 June and 28 July. FCDO officials have also raised concerns about the arrests directly with the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities, making clear that due process must be followed in all cases. On 25 September, the UK raised concerns about the NSL in our national statement at the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council on China, during the Item 4 general debate. On 6 October, we and 38 other countries expressed our deep concern on Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet at the UN Third Committee.

The rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong must be upheld. We will continue to bring together our international partners to stand up for the people of Hong Kong and to hold China to their international obligations.

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