At least 15 people were arrested today in Hong Kong by security forces, whose presence has increased in the streets in recent hours, as a controversial bill that criminalizes insults to the anthem is scheduled to be debated in the Legislative Council. Chinese.
In addition, two teenagers were reportedly arrested in possession of Molotov cocktails, the Hong Kong press reported today.
For its part, the Hong Kong Government said in a statement that as of 05:30 local time today (21:30 GMT Tuesday), several individuals had tried to block some streets “in an attempt to paralyze traffic” in protest.
Meanwhile, appeals circulated on the Internet by some protesters to go to the Legislative Council to show their opposition to this proposed law.
The debate over the so-called “national anthem law” comes at a tense moment in the semi-autonomous city, which last week registered protests and clashes between some protesters and the police after learning that the Chinese legislature plans to pass a “national security law “that could cut freedoms in the semi-autonomous city.
The latter would seek, according to the Chinese National People’s Congress (ANP, Legislative), to prohibit “any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government, the theft of state secrets, a ban on the organization of activities in Hong Kong by by foreign political organizations and prohibition of the establishment of ties with foreign political organizations by political organizations in Hong Kong. “
All this with the aim of “safeguarding national security” after almost a year of pro-democratic mobilizations that have shaken the Hong Kong economy and that have left scenes of confrontations between the Police and some violent protesters.
Article 23 of the Basic Law (Hong Kong’s mini-constitution) stipulates that the city must have security legislation along the lines outlined by Beijing, but it has always been extremely controversial among the Hong Kong population, an important segment of which he has even resisted their debate, for fear that it would result in a curtailment of freedoms.
Among the seven articles proposed by Beijing is a provision that proposes a legal mechanism that allows the ANP Standing Committee to articulate legislation to prevent and punish a series of assumptions, including that of “subversion against state power,” an accusation used frequently against human rights defenders in China.
The 1984 Sino-British Declaration, which served to agree Hong Kong’s retrocession from British hands to Chinese in 1997, established the maintenance for 50 years from that date of a series of unimaginable freedoms in this territory in mainland China.
However, from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its spokesmen have said on numerous occasions that this document was already fulfilled at the time.