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【We have entered an era of white terror】
Demosistō condemns the government’s attempt to be rid of the Hong Kong National Party by using the Societies Ordinance, stating that the party threatens national security. We feel that the move has seriously jeopardised Hong Kong citizens’ freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.
This has been the first time that the government has exercised the ordinance since the transfer of sovereignty. Demosistō would like to point out that such an action is an abuse of the international standard for the protection of national security. According to the Johannesburg Principle on National Security, Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, the peaceful exercise of the freedom of expression should not be perceived as a threat to national security. Discussing and advocating for Hong Kong’s future system, be it self-determination or independence, is part of our freedom of speech and of thought. Any non-violent attempt to fight for a change in the political system and the constitution should be by no means suppressed by the government.
In the past few years, the Hong Kong government has used the excuse of protecting national security to manipulate administrative procedures to suppress dissidents, such as suspending company registration procedures for certain political party and disqualification of candidates. This signifies a whole new level of suppression from the government, as criminal procedures become a new means - the excuse of national security is once again brought up to terrorise all those who believe in free will and democracy for Hong Kong.
As pointed out by Prof. Johannes Chan, our current criminal ordinances have already fulfilled our constitutional duty in the interest of national security. This move by the government is simply an endeavour to “correct” our way of thinking, and to utilise their power to the max - a clear sign for the impending legislation of Article 23. As such, we call on Hong Kong citizens to acknowledge and recognise the suppression imposed by the government in recent years, not only on politicians and activists, but also the increasing deprivation of our citizens basic rights and freedom. The law has become a weapon used to wipe out our freedom of thought, of speech, and of assembly.
We have entered an era of white terror, where anyone’s thoughts and words could condemn them with a criminal charge. It is to each of our individual interest to oppose the government’s unreasonable suppression, as all our basic rights are at risk with the elevation of the level of governmental suppression.
17th July 2018