UN slams Beijing over National Security Law; urges them to withdraw

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Jun 29, 2020, 10.57 PM(IST) Edited By: Palki Sharma

A demonstrator waves a flag during a rally to show support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protests at Free Square in Taipei on June 13, 2020. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The controversial bill has moved a step closer to take its final form. Hong Kong's freedom is nearing its end. China's top law-making committee discussed the draft law yesterday in Beijing.

UN's experts have slammed China over Hong Kong. Urging Beijing to withdraw the draft National Security Law. But it will be too late before the UN stops China.

The controversial bill has moved a step closer to take its final form. Hong Kong's freedom is nearing its end. China's top law-making committee discussed the draft law yesterday in Beijing.

It could be put to vote and adopted as law in the next few days. Chinese parliament had endorsed the legislation last month. 

It was sent to this standing committee to plug the loophole and make the law as oppressive as possible.

The three-day meet ends on Tuesday. So, the bill could be passed as early as Wednesday.

In two days, Hong Kong could be under the National Security Law.

The people of Hong Kong do not know what is coming. Except that the law is intended to target dissenters and that -- it will override most of their freedoms.

It's so repressive that China has not made the draft public. Hong Kong's pro-China delegates were called to the meet. What they have said to the media over the last 24 hours is chilling. For dissenters -- Hong Kong security law could mean a life sentence. Not 3 to 10 years in prison, as believed earlier.

The legislation could be applied retroactively.
 
Protests erupted in Hong Kong as soon as the standing committee began its meeting in Beijing. At least 53 people were arrested.

The Hong Kong police fired tear gas and pepper spray at many peaceful protests across the city.

In a few days, the situation could turn worse. But, help is arriving for Hong Kong's residents. Taiwan is welcoming people of Hong Kong with open arms.
 
It will open a special office on Wednesday.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has said necessary expenses will be covered and Taiwan will be a haven especially for hong kong activists seeking political asylum.

This move will surely anger China. But Taiwan's Tsai Ing-wen is clear about her responsibility to protect democracy in the region. It's not just Taiwan that has come to Hong Kong's rescue.

British prime minister Boris Johnson, who engineered the Brexit -- is ready to go against his voter base to give asylum to Hong Kongers.

He has pledged to admit 3 million people, who hold a British overseas passport. A group of UK ministers had even called for an international monitor group over the proposed law in Hong Kong.

The UK is standing up to China. Hong Kong needs support. Even if it is arising out of rare British guilt for handing over hong kong to the Chinese in 1997.

Over the weekend, the US stepped up its pressure on China. Once it got the clearance from the senate. The US imposed visa restrictions on current and former Chinese officials.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said: "President Trump promised to punish the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials who were responsible for eviscerating hong kong’s freedoms.  Today, we are taking action to do just that."

Particularly those who have contributed to the stifling of Hong Kong's freedom.

These visa sanctions are not as severe as economic sanctions, but it sends a message to Beijing.

Bejing got the message and retaliated with a tit-for-tat move. Now, China will impose visa restrictions on US officials. China has warned the US From imposing any kind of sanctions.

Pompeo says in the interest of preserving free societies, the US and its European partners must awaken to China's challenge. 

The people of Hong Kong do not have much time. The new security law is coming. It could spell the end of freedom in Hong Kong.