Hong Kong authorities have used the new national security law as a "pretext to curb dissent" and justify censorship, harassment, arrests and prosecutions that crush human rights, Amnesty International said in a report on Wednesday, one year after the law was implemented.
BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~** Broadcasters: NO USE CHINA Digital: NO USE CHINA.~** One year after a sweeping national security law was introduced in Hong Kong, Amnesty International has called the situation a 'human rights emergency'.
In their report released on Wednesday, Amnesty's Regional director in South East Asia, Joshua Rosenzweig pointed to a list of court decisions and interviews with activists that show the law has been used to target dissent, justify censorship and arrests.
"There does seem to be a political element to this where some of these charges and prosecutions appear to be politically motivated and designed to curb political opposition and silence voices that the government doesn't want to hear and doesn't want other people to hear." Beijing imposed the national security law to punish anything it deems as subversion, secession, colluding with foreign forces and terrorism with up to life in prison.
Authorities have said the law would affect an 'extremely small minority' of people and that it had restored stability after months of often violent protests in 2019.
According to a Reuters tally, more than 100 people have been arrested and more than 60 charged, in the first year under the new law.
Amnesty, has sounded the alarm and said the actions under the law including harassment and prosecutions violate human rights.
"We're calling on the United Nations, particularly the human rights council, but also the high commissioner for human rights, to really look into the way in which national security, terrorism and these other concepts are being used by the Chinese government." The Hong Kong government did not immediately respond to requests for comment.