Since the entry into force of the law on the preservation of national security (LSN), a year ago, on June 30, 2020 at 11 p.m., a silence of terror is gradually settling in Hong Kong, as a fog which thickens imperceptibly, day after day. “The rule of law has been replaced by a state of fear”, estimated, Wednesday morning June 30, Surabhi Chopra, professor of law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on RTHK, the radio of the public service.
With the arrest of all the main leaders of the opposition movement, the closure of the largest pro-democracy newspaper, theApple Daily, the suspension of legislative elections and the overhaul of the electoral system, the establishment of a new political police, the systematic ban on all gatherings, the sidelining of influential journalists, the rewriting of history programs, the banning of certain books, the censorship of cinema films … the city that described itself as the most cosmopolitan in Asia (« Asia’s World City ») is paralyzed, unrecognizable.
The former British colony was nevertheless renowned for the great freedom of thought and entrepreneurship that reigned there. Demonstrating was second nature to many citizens. The government was openly challenged by both strong opposition and committed media. The critical spirit was taught with fervor in its universities.
But since the passage of the National Security Law, Hong Kong has abruptly lost many of the attributes that fundamentally differentiated it from other Chinese cities. The principle “One country, two systems” underpinned by the promise that “Nothing would change for fifty years” after the handover of 1997, that is to say until 2047, was pulverized with the passage of this national security law which muzzled the city, buried its democratic aspirations and precipitated what is locally described as the “mainlandization” of Hong Kong.
Chinese propaganda prevails everywhere
Each week now delivers its share of new police or security measures, arrests of “Criminals” who have, ” without a doubt “, ” perhaps “ or ” probably “ violated the ULN, by committing one of the four crimes covered by the dreaded legislation: “Secession, sedition, terrorism, and conspiracy with foreign forces or outside elements. “ On June 29, it was a young man who had stuck on the door of his apartment stickers whose slogan could be assimilated to a national security crime who was arrested, denounced by a neighbor.
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