Hong Kong legislature unanimously passes new national security law

Hong Kong legislature unanimously passes new national security law
Hong Kong legislature unanimously passes new national security law

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee enters the chamber after the Safeguarding National Security Bill, also referred to as Basic Law Article 23, was passed, at the Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, in Hong Kong, China March 19, 2024. — Reuters pic

HONG KONG, March 19 — Hong Kong’s Legislative Council today unanimously passed a new national security bill within a fortnight of it first being tabled, fast-tracking a major piece of legislation that critics say further threatens the China-ruled city’s freedoms.

The package, known as Article 23, updates or creates new laws and penalties to prohibit treason, sabotage, sedition, the theft of state secrets and espionage, with up to life imprisonment.

The 90-seat council stacked with pro-Beijing loyalists was first presented with the bill on March 8, following a month-long public consultation, with Hong Kong’s leader John Lee calling for it to be enacted at “full speed”.

All 88 lawmakers and the legislative council president voted unanimously to enact the legislation, which will come into effect on March 23. — Reuters

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