Hong Kong police have accused human rights group Hong Kong Watch of violating Beijing’s controversial national security law.
Police in the city accused the UK-based group of “collusion with foreign forces”, a key violation of the law which China imposed on the city in June 2020.
Foreign secretary Liz Truss has called the move “unjustifiable” and “clearly an attempt to silence those who stand up for human rights” in the city.
“The Chinese Government and Hong Kong authorities must respect the universal right to freedom of speech and uphold that right in Hong Kong in accordance with international commitments, including the Joint Declaration,” she said in a statement.
“Attempting to silence voices globally that speak up for freedom and democracy is unacceptable and will never succeed.”
Leader of the pro-democracy group Benedict Rogers warned last week that Hong Kong police suspected the group and its website of “likely to constitute an offence endangering national security”, according to Reuters.
Rogers, who is now taking extra security precautions following the arrest of several other pro-democracy figureheads, said he would “redouble” his efforts in raising awareness of oppression in the former British colony.
“By threatening a UK-based NGO with financial penalties and jail for merely reporting on the human rights situation in Hong Kong, this letter exemplifies why Hong Kong’s national security law is so dangerous,” Rogers said in a statement today.
“We will not be silenced by an authoritarian security apparatus which, through a mixture of senseless brutality and ineptitude, has triggered rapid mass migration out of the city and shut down civil society.”