Hong Kong's national security committee convenes first meeting

  • China
  • Tuesday, 07 Jul 2020

A group photo taken before the first meeting of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on July 6, 2020. - China Daily/ANN

HONG KONG (China Daily/ANN): The Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) hammered out the implementation rules for law enforcement agencies in its first meeting held on Monday (July 6).

According to a statement of the HKSAR government, all the members of the committee attended the meeting, including its chair Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who is also the chief executive of the HKSAR, and the national security adviser to the committee appointed by the central government sat in on the meeting.

At the meeting, the CE, in conjunction with the National Security Committee, exercised the power under Article 43 of the national security law to define implementation rules for law enforcement agencies in order to implement the measures stipulated under Article 43.

Later in the evening, Implementation Rules for Article 43 of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Implementation Rules) were gazetted and will take effect on July 7.

The implementation rules clearly stipulate what regulations officers should observe when carrying out specific measures to prevent, suppress and impose punishment for offences endangering national security as well as relevant offences and penalties for the effective implementation of the measures.

According to a government press release issued late Monday, implementation rules have the force of law and clearly stipulate the protocols involving search of places for evidence; restriction on persons under investigation from leaving Hong Kong; freezing, restraint, confiscation and forfeiture of property related to offences endangering national security; removal of messages endangering national security and request for assistance; requiring foreign and Taiwan political organisations and agents to provide information on activities concerning Hong Kong; application on authorisation for interception of communications and covert surveillance; and requirement to furnish information and produce materials.

"The purpose is to ensure that when relevant officers exercise powers and apply measures under Article 43 of the National Security Law to enforce the Law, the objectives of preventing, suppressing and imposing punishment for any acts and activities endangering national security can be achieved, while the requirement under the General Principles of the National Security Law to respect and protect human rights, as well as the protection of various rights and freedom in accordance with the law can be complied with," reads the press release.

This apart, the secretary for security issued operating principles and guidelines to officers of Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) regarding applications and the exercise of powers.

Officers of the HKPF are required to comply with such provisions gazetted at the same time with the implementation rules.

The State Council earlier appointed Luo Huining, director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, as the national security adviser to the committee who attended the meeting.

The committee’s other members include Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Financial Secretary Paul Chan, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng, Secretary for Security John Lee, Commissioner of Police Tang Ping-keung, Deputy Commissioner of Police Edwina Lau, Director of Immigration Au Ka-wang; Commissioner of Customs and Excise Hermes Tang, and Director of the Chief Executive's Office Chan Kwok-ki, who is also the secretary-general of the committee.

The committee was established on Friday in accordance with stipulations of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Based on the law, the committee’s duties include analysing and assessing developments in relation to safeguarding national security in the HKSAR.

As per the law, no institution, organisation or individual in the HKSAR shall interfere with the work of the committee while information relating to its work shall not be subject to disclosure.

According to the law, the committee’s decisions shall not be amenable to judicial review. - China Daily/Asia News Network

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China , Hong Kong , national , security , law , first meeting


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