"Human Rights Watch" and Hong Kong Australians call for sanctions on Hong Kong officials who promote "Article 23" "Human Rights Watch" and Hong Kong Australians call for sanctions on Hong Kong officials who promote "Article 23"

"Human Rights Watch" and Hong Kong Australians call for sanctions on Hong Kong officials who promote "Article 23"

"Human Rights Watch" and Hong Kong Australians call for sanctions on Hong Kong officials who promote "Article 23"

The legislative consultation period for Article 23 of the Hong Kong Government's Basic Law ended at the end of February. The Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately issued a statement stating that the "Article 23" legislation would erode the protections guaranteed by Hong Kong's Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration. of rights and freedoms. Some Hong Kong residents in exile in Australia and international human rights organizations believe that the Australian government should consider using the Magnitsky Act to sanction Hong Kong officials who promote the "Article 23" legislation.

Hui Chi-feng, a former elected member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council who is currently in exile in Australia, told this station that as the Hong Kong government promotes the "Article 23" legislation, Hong Kong will lose the freedoms it once enjoyed.

"This marks that Hong Kong is no longer a free city, but a dangerous place suppressed by authoritarian and authoritarian hegemony."

Elaine Pearson, Asia director of Human Rights Watch, pointed out to this station that the promotion of the "Article 23" legislation reflects that the Chinese Communist Party has once again reached out to suppress human rights in Hong Kong.

"The Australian government should pay attention to the relevant legislation, because this is another attempt by the Beijing authorities to turn Hong Kong, which was originally free and democratic, into a repressive society where people live in fear."

Pearson explained that in addition to restricting freedoms, the contents of "Article 23" will also undermine the rule of law in Hong Kong.

"The relevant legislation will deprive Hong Kong people of their basic rights. Article 23 will prohibit many things. Even those who are dissatisfied with the Chinese or Hong Kong government will be punished. It will destroy due process and Fair trial rights – the time that arrested persons can be held in police custody before being charged will be extended and their access to lawyers will be restricted.”

Xu Zhifeng reminded that since many Australian companies have commercial investments in Hong Kong and many Australians work in Hong Kong, the "Article 23" legislation will involve the rights and interests of many Australians. In addition, since "Article 23" will target overseas activities outside Hong Kong, the Australian government needs to take precautions.

“The Australian government needs to provide personal safety support within the country, including Hong Kong people like me who continue to speak out.”

Pearson reminded that the "Twenty-Three Articles" will be more stringent than the current "Hong Kong version of the National Security Law."

"There are already Australian citizens and residents who are wanted by the Hong Kong authorities for being accused of violating the 'Hong Kong National Security Law'."

Hong Kong's "Article 23" legislation may pose risks to the Australian people. Pearson stressed that the Australian government should explain it clearly to the general society.

"The Australian government should remind all Australian companies with operations in Hong Kong to make them aware of the human rights issues that will arise if the relevant legislation is passed, which may require a reassessment of business risks."

Pearson also believes that Australia should impose sanctions on relevant officials who promote the "Article 23 legislation" in Hong Kong.

"Australia has passed the 'Magnitsky' sanctions bill for several years, but has yet to use the relevant legislation to hold Hong Kong or Chinese officials accountable for serious human rights violations. We would certainly like to see those officials involved in human rights violations subject to asset freezes or Sanctions such as travel bans.”

Xu Zhifeng also believes that Australia should sanction relevant Hong Kong officials involved in the "Article 23" legislation.

"Those people are the executioners who directly violate human rights and freedoms. They should not be sheltered and allowed to transfer assets, enter freely, obtain study visas or obtain employment in Australia. "

Xu Zhifeng mentioned that he will push to call on the Australian government to use the "Magnitsky" Act to sanction relevant Hong Kong officials involved in the "Article 23" legislation.

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