by WorldTribune Staff, August 3, 2020
In just over a month the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has asserted authoritarian control over Hong Kong.
The CCP’s national security law which essentially ended Hong Kong’s autonomy and makes it much easier to punish pro-democracy activists is in full force, an analyst noted.
“The scope of Beijing’s plans are now clear. This is a constitutional coup. The safeguards which have historically defended human rights in Hong Kong have been shattered. Rule of law has been replaced with rule by law — and the Communist Party’s word is law,” Johnny Patterson wrote in a July 31 analysis for the Spectator.
In the early morning hours of July 30, four young people aged between 16 and 21 years old reportedly were arrested. They were accused of posting on social media, or “organizing and inciting secession” which under the new law carries up to 10 years in jail.
Later in the day on July 30, 12 election candidates who support democracy and autonomy for Hong Kong were disqualified from running.
“Among them were some of the most moderate names in the pro-democracy camp, including barristers like Dennis Kwok, who represents the Hong Kong legal community,” Patterson noted. “It appears that the entire pro-democracy camp will be disqualified. The majority of people in Hong Kong support democrats. This has consistently been seen at elections — notably at the landslide District Council elections in November. As a result, Hong Kongers are becoming permanently disenfranchised.”
The purge is not limited to politics, Patterson added.
Benny Tai, a notable legal academic, “has been fired from Hong Kong University for his involvement in protests. Libraries have been screened, and books placed under review. Banks have started scrutinizing their clients for pro-democracy ties. Businesses are being told that pro-protest posters violate the National Security Law. Technology firms face being forced to hand data over to the Hong Kong police.”
The Hong Kong government issued a press release saying that “expressing an objection (to the enactment of the National Security Law)” is unconstitutional, while insisting that “the HKSAR Government respects and safeguards the lawful rights of Hong Kong people, including the right to vote and the right to stand for elections.”
“For Hong Kongers, this confirms their worst fears,” Patterson wrote. “Many will now be looking at their options: some will stay and continue to stand for freedom in the city they love, others will be looking for a way out.”