Hong Kong Law & Crime

Will HKers be arrested under new national security law? No promises, says justice chief

The Secretary for Justice declined to guarantee whether Hong Kong people who engage in actions opposing the Chinese Communist Party would face prosecution when they step into the mainland.

When asked if members of groups calling for an end to single-party rule would be arrested in China, “as there is no specific behaviour or specific incident, it is not possible to make a legal promise under this scenario,” Yuen said.

rimsky yuen

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen. Photo: i-Cable news.

“The criminal liabilities of behaviour that took place in Hong Kong will not be increased due to the new security law,” said Yuen. He also reiterated that the new legislation will not be incorporated into the Basic Law.

Elsie Leung Oi-sie, deputy director of the Basic Law Committee, said on Monday that the national security law “is not targeted at Hong Kong nor is it targeted at the behaviour of a small portion of Hong Kongers.”

Leung said that “it is not such a big requirement for someone not to commit actions that may threaten national security, it is also an obligation of every citizen.” Leung added that “it is not possible for someone to say that they do not know whether an action threatens national security or not.”

In response to questions whether Hong Kongers who participate in protests such as Occupy Central or June 4 vigils would be arrested on entry to mainland China, Leung said that she can not comment in general regarding June 4 as there are various aspects within the vigil.  However, Leung said that it will be treated differently if one uses June 4 to organise actions to overthrow the regime.

Lee Cheuk-yan, chairperson of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, has said he will attempt to enter China to test if he will be arrested. The Alliance has repeatedly demanded an end to “one-party dictatorship” during the annual June 4 vigil on the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Yuen made the comment on Sunday after the Chinese legislature passed a new security law on July 1. The new legislation included Hong Kong’s obligation for the first time, sparking concerns as to whether Hong Kong people who engage in actions opposing the Chinese regime will be liable to prosecution in mainland China.

Paul Benedict Lee contributed reporting.

Will HKers be arrested under new national security law? No promises, says justice chief