Security measures clarified

July 7, 2020

More than half of the measures for safeguarding national security in Hong Kong are practices that currently exist in Hong Kong’s laws, Secretary for Security John Lee said today.


Article 43 of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region stipulates various measures Hong Kong may take when handling cases concerning offences that endanger national security.


Speaking to the media after attending the Legislative Council joint panel meeting this evening, Mr Lee said: “The seven measures that were announced yesterday and gazetted, actually among the seven measures, four measures are current practices in Hong Kong laws.”


Citing the power to search, Mr Lee explained that such power will be conducted under a warrant issued by the Judiciary.


“In general situations it will be conducted under a warrant issued by the court. But in exceptional circumstances - where evidence may be destroyed in a short period of time or the person responsible may have a chance to escape - when police officers are facing these situations they can search the premises without applying for a search warrant.


“Such practice actually exists in current laws such as when Police have to do similar things under the Firearms & Ammunition Ordinance or when the Independent Commission Against Corruption exercise their powers under relevant laws,” he added.


The security chief emphasised that there are checks and balances in all these measures, adding that the procedures to implement them do comply with the protection of human rights and the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights.

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