British Lawmakers Demand Sanctions on Hong Kong Leader
There are growing calls among British lawmakers for Chinese officials to become the next target of sanctions against human rights abusers - including the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam. As Henry Ridgwell reports, Western nations are ratcheting up their response to Beijing's recent imposition of a security law on Hong Kong, which severely limits the right to protest and criticize the government.
Camera: Henry Ridgwell
Victor Teo, a Visiting Research Fellow at University of Cambridge, talked about Washington D.C. imposing a new round of sanctions on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and ten others. Hong Kong just announced that September's legislative council elections will be delayed. Leader Carrie Lam cited the spike in coronavirus cases as the reason. The vote would have been Hong Kong's first since a contraversial security law was brought into effect. Opposition lawmakers accuse the government of using the outbreak to slow their pro-democracy movement. Many candidates were banned from running, including activist Joshua Wong. China's National People's Congress standing committee is the elite legislative body that drafted, reviewed and fast-tracked the Hong Kong national security law behind closed doors. There's only one delegate from Hong Kong on the committee. CNN's Will Ripley speaks to Tam Yiu-chung. Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that the government will "vigorously implement" a controversial new national security law imposed on the semi-autonomous Chinese territory by Beijing last week. The new legislation targets what authorities in mainland China define as secession, subversion,terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. Those violating the law could face up to life in prison. "I forewarn those radicals not to attempt to violate this law, or cross the red line, because theconsequences of breaching this law are very serious," Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam told a press conference Tuesday.
The new law has drawn international condemnation for jeopardizing Hong Kong's civil liberties enshrined under the "one country, two systems" framework, including freedom of speech and assembly. There is widespread concern that crackdowns on public dissent and free speech, similar to what is seen in mainland China, will soon be carried out in Hong Kong under the law.
Late Monday ahead of Lam's press conference, additional details of the security law were issued by the city government detailing the measures the Hong Kong police forces can take to implement the legislation. These include the sweeping authority to seize electronic devices and enterproperty without a warrant under "exceptional circumstances." Police can also freeze assets and confiscate property if there are "reasonable grounds" to suspect items are connected to offenses "endangering national security."