National security law explained

July 1, 2020

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Chief Executive Carrie Lam provided more explanation about the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region during a press conference today.


Mrs Lam said: “The purpose of this piece of legislation is not just to punish, it is also to deter people from committing such serious offences as secession, subverting the state power, terrorist activities and so on. So deterrence is very important.”


Mrs Lam also reassured the media and the public that criticising the national security law would not be considered a crime.


“Now (concerning) criticism, it comes under freedom of speech. There is a specific reference in the principle of this piece of law under the general principles - Chapter 1, Article 4 - which provides for the Hong Kong SAR to safeguard national security, we should also safeguard human rights and so on.


“Some of these human rights enjoyed by individuals under the international covenants are not absolute. As the covenant provisions specify, where it is for the protection of national security, then sometimes some of these rights could be restrained in accordance with the law.


“But it is clearly stated in Article 4 that people of Hong Kong should be able to continue to enjoy the freedom of speech, freedom of press, of publication, protest, assembly and so on.”

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