Hong Kong Police have reported over 300 arrests since the implementation of China’s new national security law that criminalized any activity that “undermine[s] national unification.”
The Chinese legislature adopted the new national security law on Tuesday in an allegedly “rushed and secretive process,” only releasing the full text of the bill after it had already passed. The bill specifically outlaws four activities including secession, subversion of state power, terrorism, and collusion.
The first man to be arrested was holding a "Hong Kong Independence" flag, according to the Hong Kong Police.
#BREAKING: A man was arrested for holding a #HKIndependence flag in #CausewayBay, Hong Kong, violating the #NationalSecurityLaw. This is the first arrest made since the law has come into force. pic.twitter.com/C0ezm3SGDm— Hong Kong Police Force (@hkpoliceforce) July 1, 2020
Hong Kong Police have been given "purple warning flags" warning citizens that if you are “displaying banners / chanting slogans / or conducting yourself with an intent such as secession or subversion...you may be arrested and prosecuted."
By raising the new purple warning flag, #HKPolice warned #HKProtestors chanting #HKIndependence slogans that they may have breached #NationalSecurityLaw in #CausewayBay, Hong Kong. pic.twitter.com/xwcSjHL7dO— Hong Kong Police Force (@hkpoliceforce) July 1, 2020
Hong Kong Police reported that more than 300 people have been arrested for “unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct in public places, furious driving, and breach of the #NationalSecurityLaw.”
#BREAKING More than 300 people have been arrested in #HongKong so far for offences like unlawful assemblies, disorderly conduct in public places, furious driving, and breach of the #NationalSecurityLaw, which accounted for 9 arrests (5 males & 4 females).— Hong Kong Police Force (@hkpoliceforce) July 1, 2020
The new law gives China greater control over Hong Kong, establishing a “National Security Commission” that will oversee investigations and violations of the national security law. This new body will act without judicial review or checks from the Hong Kong government.
Individuals found violating the new law could face punishments up to a lifetime in prison, depending on the severity of the action.