An Analysis of Hong Kong's Proposed National Security Legislation

By Jennifer Windsor, Executive Director, Freedom House and Christine Nelson, Senior Program Officer, Freedom House

Since the July 1997 handover of Hong Kong from Britain back to China, Freedom House has raised concerns about the limitations on political rights and the slow but steady erosion of the protection of civil liberties accorded the territory's residents.  In September 2002, the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) decided to move forward on implementing national security legislation required by Article 23 of the Basic Law.  The government released a Consultation Document outlining its approach to the new legislation and called for public comment and debate until December 24, with the final passage of the legislation targeted for July 2003.  The Consultation Document and the public statements of many Hong Kong government officials have created an unprecedented level of concern domestically and internationally that the new legislation will serve as a mechanism to further restrict the protection of basic freedoms within the territory.  
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