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Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders express concern over prospect of indefinite detention without trial under new security law

ANI | Updated: Jun 25, 2020 17:12 IST

Hong Kong, June 25 (ANI): Though China has released few details of new Hong Kong security law, authorities have remained tight-lipped whether there is a provision in the legislation that could lead to arrest of a person indefinitely without trial or charge.
According to a report by Hong Kong Free Press, Hong King's Secretary for Security John Lee on Wednesday evaded reporter's question to confirm reports that arrested persons may be held in special detention centres for however long authorities like, in violation of international human rights laws.
"We have to wait until the proper promulgation of the law so that we will know exactly what the law says and requires us to do," HKFP quoted him as saying.
"The preparation work is to ensure that we will be able to discharge [the law's] functions and responsibilities," he added.
Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders have expressed concerns about Lee's failure to provide an answer to the question on the detention.

"It sounds hyperbolic but anything goes in Hong Kong these days. Reign of terror. Orwellian Hong Kong. They will do anything to frighten Hongkongers into silence and inaction," pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo told HKFP.
Meanwhile, the Civic Party leader Alvin Yeung also told HKFP that the government's refusal to disclose details of the law raised suspicion that there might be such practices of prolonged detention.
"[K]nowing that China has a track record of unreasonable and prolonged detention of dissidents, it is only logical we expect that to happen in Hong Kong after enactment."
"If the suggestion reflects the reality, it would be directly contrary to the legal requirements and a blatant breach of human rights," he added.
The National People's Congress Standing Committee will meet for three days beginning on Sunday and could pass the law as early as June 30, on the eve of the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from British rule, pro-Beijing politicians were quoted as saying.
The Chinese state media revealed broad outlines of the legislation on Saturday after the standing committee wrapped up a three-day deliberation on laws.
Although Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam will lead a new national security commission, which will include a central government adviser, and she can appoint judges to hear cases, Beijing will retain the final say over how the law is implemented. (ANI)