Article 23 of Hong Kong's Basic Law: A Danger to the Civil Liberties and Fundamental Freedoms

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Article 23 of Hong Kong's Basic Law What characteristics should legislation under Article 23 of Hong Kong's Basic Law have to make it consistent with the guarantees of freedom of expression in Hong Kong? Article 23 poses a great danger to the civil liberties and fundamental freedoms to the people of Hong Kong and those who visit Hong Kong soil. On September 24, 2002, the government of Hong Kong published a discussion document including a suggestion to implement Article 23 of the Basic Law. "The legislation deals with the offences of treason, secession, sedition, and subversion against the central government in Beijing and the prohibition of the theft of state secrets and political activities by foreign political organizations in Hong Kong. The proposal has provoked widespread and strong opposition from key figures in the legal, political, human rights, religious, media, financial, and other communities in Hong Kong and around the world" (Say "NO" to Hong Kong's Proposed Article 23 Legislation, 2003). The law would permit the banning of groups associated with mainland groups thought to be a threat to China's national security. Scholars have found that the anti-sedition laws are more sweeping, and potentially more far-reaching, than first realized. Police who believe that there is subversion are given authority to search without a warrant, for instance. Also, laws governing freedom of speech are unclear on the question of provocation. "Under the proposed law, for example,

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