Asian Lawyers Network - ALN co-signed this important statement. Lawyers' rights and the rule of law are at risk in Hong Kong. You can read the full statement below, on Hong Kong Watch's site, and by a pdf version here.  

Over 80 organisations sign joint statement on the Hong Kong Government’s Consultation for Article 23 Legislation

19 February 2024

Today, Hong Kong Watch published a joint statement in response to the Hong Kong Government’s Consultation for Article 23 Legislation. It was written with the support of Human Rights Watch and signed by 86 civil society organisations from around the world. 

The letter condemned the Hong Kong government’s plans to introduce domestic security legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law.

The Hong Kong government formally launched the legislative process with a four-week “public consultation” on 30 January 2024. The law is set to prohibit seven types of offenses, including treason, espionage, and theft of state secrets. Many of these proposed provisions are vague and criminalize people’s peaceful exercises of human rights.

The consultation paper advocates extending police detention without charge, preventing contact between detainees and lawyers of their choice, and for denying those convicted under national security offenses their eligibility to up to a third reduction in their sentences for good behavior. It also advocates, without specifics, for “eliminating certain procedures” to “speed up” national security trials.

The proposed law includes a number of procedural changes that will dramatically undermine the Hong Kong people’s due process and fair trial rights. 

The introduction of Article 23 will bring further devastating consequences for human rights beyond those brought by the National Security Law when it was imposed by Beijing in 2020. These human rights guarantees – long protected in Hong Kong – are enshrined in Hong Kong’s de facto constitution, the Basic Law. 

Civil society organisations urge concerned governments to, individually or together with like-minded allies:

The full letter is available here

香港監察聯同逾80個組織發聲明譴責港府擬推行23條立法  促各國政府制裁侵犯人權官員

今天,香港監察發表聯合聲明,回應香港政府展開《基本法》第23條立法公眾諮詢。這份聲明在人權監察(Human Rights Watch)支持下撰寫,並有86個來自世界各地的民間組織簽署。