Labor Party leader Lee Cheuk-yan has asked the Hong Kong government to clarify whether he faces the risk of arrest if he enters the mainland following China’s enactment of a new national security law.
Lee, who has been a vocal critic of Beijing and a key figure in annual June 4 vigils to mark the Tiananmen Square crackdown, said he wants to know if he will be deemed to be an offender under China’s new law and face prosecution if he crosses the border.
He made the comments after Sing Tao Daily, in a report Wednesday, cited Chinese government sources as saying that those who have been calling for an end to one-party rule in China could probably be convicted under the new security law once they enter the mainland.
Sing Tao cited a source as saying that Lee, former chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China — the group that has been organizing the annual June 4 vigil — and Democratic Party lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan are two people likely to be on the detention list.
Ho is the current chairman of the alliance.
Responding to the media report, Lee said the purported remarks by Chinese officials represent a form of “white terror” that aims to discourage citizens from attending the Tiananmen vigils, Ming Pao Daily reported.
If the Hong Kong government does not clarify matters, Lee said he will consider accepting a rumored invitation from Beijing to Hong Kong lawmakers to travel to China to observe the “One Belt, One Road” initiative.
Through the trip, he can test the situation himself regarding his status following China’s new law, Lee said.
Meanwhile, Ho — who is a lawyer — said he doesn’t believe he would be arrested if he enters the mainland as the new security law does not apply to Hong Kong.
A spokesman for Hong Kong’s Department of Justice confirmed that the national security law is not one of the national laws listed in Annex III of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini constitution, and therefore does not apply directly to Hong Kong, Ming Pao said.
Ip Kwok-him, a pro-Beijing lawmaker, said he doesn’t think that anyone from Hong Kong would face prosecution in the mainland for merely expressing opinions.
Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah, a senior lawyer, said though Hong Kong and mainland belong to different jurisdictions, behavior that is not considered illegal in Hong Kong should also not be illegal elsewhere based on general principles of law.
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