Home World News Hong Kong’s National Security Draft Bill Proposes Life Term For Treason

Hong Kong’s National Security Draft Bill Proposes Life Term For Treason

Hong Kong, China, National Security Bill, Life Term, Treason, US
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee sitting with students. Source: Twitter

Hong Kong has released the draft text of a new national security law which if enacted will enable offenders to get life sentences for treason.

According to a report in the Guardian, the law known as Article 23 is legislation that relates to crimes relating to national security.

Activists say that if the draft bill if passed, it will ensure sentences of up to life in prison for some crimes including insurrection and treason. It lengthens allowable periods of detention without charge from 48 hours to two weeks.

The sentence for sedition will increase from two years to seven, and then to 10 if it is found to have been carried out and committed in collusion with “foreign forces.”

The bill which was published by the government on Friday morning, will be scrutinized by the city’s parliament at a specially arranged sessions the same day according to Bloomberg. The government is said to have sped up the process after senior Chinese officials at the National People’s Congress taking place in the capital urged the law’s passing.

According to AP, Hong Kong leader John Lee has urged legislators to push the “Safeguarding National Security Bill” as it is called “at full speed.”

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“The geopolitics have become increasingly complex, and national security risks remain imminent,” a government statement said.

The bill is expected to pass easily in a legislature that is now packed with China-backed loyalists.

China had imposed a national security law in 2020 on Hong Kong which was similar to the national security law in Beijing. This had led to large pro-democracy protests. 

Then Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam who was said to be Beijing-backed hailed the national security law as a “new era.”

In a Reuters report, Hong Kong officials said the draft is similar to laws in some Western nations and it was necessary to plug “loopholes” in the existing law.