Freedom of speech has limits: CE

September 8, 2020

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Chief Executive Carrie Lam today said freedom of speech has limits.


Mrs Lam made the statement ahead of the Executive Council meeting this morning when asked about the arrest of an opposition activist.


She added that if someone breaches the law, law enforcement authorities will take action.


“The particular incident you have referred to is exactly in accordance with that arrangement. There is a law in place, and if there is evidence that someone has breached the law, then the law enforcement authorities would have to take action. There is nothing to do with freedom of speech.


“As I have said again on many occasions, including in explaining provisions in the National Security Law, yes, we uphold the freedoms and rights enjoyed by Hong Kong people under the Basic Law and the relevant provisions in the international covenants as applied to Hong Kong, but one would have to realise that whether in international covenants or the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, the exercising of some of the rights is not without limits.”


The Chief Executive pointed out that freedom of speech is limited under some scenarios.


“For example, in terms of freedom of speech, it could be limited by law under certain situations, for example, in safeguarding national security, ensuring public order, for public health reasons or to protect the rights and reputation of another person, then there will be laws to limit the expression of such speeches by individuals in Hong Kong.”

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