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HKSAR Government strongly disapproves of and firmly rejects remarks by certain members of European Parliament against Hong Kong National Security Law
     ​The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) today (July 1) strongly disapproved of and firmly rejected the move of certain members of the European Parliament, by jointly writing to the President of the European Commission upon the third anniversary of the implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law (NSL), to not just wantonly slander and smear the NSL, but also openly clamour for so-called "sanctions" against officials discharging the responsibility of safeguarding national security.
     A spokesman for the HKSAR Government said, "The HKSAR Government strongly disapproves of the unfounded remarks by certain members of the European Parliament, out of despicable political motives upon the third anniversary of the implementation of the NSL, to attack the HKSAR in its dutiful, faithful and lawful implementation of the NSL. While the 'black-clad violence' and Hong Kong version of 'colour revolution' back in 2019 severely damaged the social stability of Hong Kong, the successful implementation of the NSL has enabled the livelihood and economic activities of the Hong Kong community at large to swiftly resume as normal and the business environment to be restored. However, those politicians turned a blind eye to all these facts. Not only did they insist on making absurd, unfounded and fact-twisting remarks against the NSL in the hope of interfering in Hong Kong's law-based governance and undermining the city's rule of law as well as its prosperity and stability, but they also clamoured for so-called 'sanctions' against officials safeguarding national security dutifully. Their political grandstanding rife with ill intentions have been seen through. Their despicable plots are doomed to fail.
     "The HKSAR Government despises such so-called 'sanctions' and shall never be intimidated. It will continue to resolutely discharge the responsibility of safeguarding national security. It strongly urges the concerned politicians of the European Parliament to immediately stop acting against the international law and basic norms of international relations and interfering in Hong Kong matters, which are purely China's internal affairs."
     The spokesman stressed, "The judicial system of Hong Kong has always been highly regarded by international communities. Any attempt by any country, organisation, or individual to interfere with the judicial proceedings in the HKSAR by means of political power, in order to procure a defendant's evasion of the criminal justice process, is a reprehensible act undermining the rule of law of Hong Kong. Making remarks with the intent to interfere with or obstruct the course of justice, or engaging in conduct with the same intent, is very likely to constitute the offence of criminal contempt of court or the offence of perverting the course of justice."
     The spokesman said, "Over the past three years of implementation of the NSL, the HKSAR has been fulfilling the responsibility of safeguarding national security in accordance with the law and earnestly upholding the principle that laws must be obeyed and lawbreakers held accountable. When discharging duties under the NSL, the HKSAR law enforcement agencies take law enforcement actions, based on evidence and strictly in accordance with the law, against any people, institutions or organisations that endanger national security. The Department of Justice of the HKSAR is in charge of criminal prosecutions under Article 63 of the Basic Law, with all prosecution decisions made based on an objective analysis of all admissible evidence and applicable laws. The Judiciary of the HKSAR exercises judicial power independently in accordance with the law, and everyone charged with a criminal offence has the right to a fair hearing. The courts decide cases strictly in accordance with the evidence and all applicable laws. Cases will never be handled any differently owing to the profession, political beliefs or background of the persons involved. The prosecution has the burden to prove beyond reasonable doubt the commission of an offence before a defendant may be convicted by the court.
     "Since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, human rights in the city have always been robustly guaranteed constitutionally by both the Constitution and the Basic Law. Furthermore, Article 4 of the NSL clearly stipulates that human rights shall be respected and protected in safeguarding national security in the HKSAR, and that the rights and freedoms, which the residents of Hong Kong enjoy under the Basic Law and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as applied to Hong Kong, shall be protected in accordance with the law. Article 5 of the NSL affirms adherence to the principle of the rule of law in safeguarding national security, including the presumption of innocence, the prohibition of double jeopardy, and the right to defend oneself and other rights in judicial proceedings that a criminal suspect, defendant and other parties in judicial proceedings are entitled to under the law. The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal has pointed out that these two articles are centrally important to the interpretation of the NSL generally."
     The spokesman reiterated, "The HKSAR steadfastly safeguards national sovereignty, security and development interests, and fully and faithfully lives up to this top priority of the principle of 'one country, two systems'. The HKSAR Government will resolutely, fully and faithfully implement the NSL and further strengthen the HKSAR's legal system and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security to prevent, suppress and punish in accordance with the law acts and activities that endanger national security. At the same time, it will safeguard the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong people in accordance with the law. Its overarching goal is to ensure the steadfast and successful implementation of 'one country, two systems'."
Ends/Saturday, July 1, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:57
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