The Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), which was formed in 2016 with an objective to push for Hong Kong independence, should be banned sooner rather than later as a precaution, according to police documents that made the recommendation to the security chief.
More than 700 pages of documents, which specify the reasons why prohibiting the operation of the political party is justified and necessary, were given to Andy Chan Ho-tin, HKNP co-founder and convenor, on Tuesday morning, before he posted them all on a social media platform on Wednesday night, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Among the documents is an English-language letter consisting of more than 160 pages to Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu.
According to he letter, written by an assistant societies officer, who is said to be Rebecca Lam Hiu-tong, the incumbent Assistant Commissioner of Police (Support), the HKNP’s agenda includes building a Hong Kong republic and abolishing the Basic Law, both of which are clearly in violation of Article 1 and 12 of the city’s mini constitution, which states that the HKSAR is “an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China” and the HKSAR “shall be a local administrative region of the People’s Republic of China, which shall enjoy a high degree of autonomy and come directly under the Central People’s Government”.
Chan, according to the officer, had openly advocated Hong Kong independence on dozens of occasions, press conferences and internet radio programs.
His pro-independence activities include publishing issue-related publications, infiltrating schools by holding a secondary school student political enlightenment program, participating in the Legislative Council election in 2016, setting up street booths, raising funds and recruiting members, and joining the Free Indo-Pacific Alliance to build overseas connections, the officer said.
All of these moves clearly show that the HKNP has plans in place to achieve the purpose of promoting localism and separatism, said the officer, who accused the party of posing imminent threats to China’s territorial integrity, the “one country, two systems” principle and Hong Kong’s security.
The letter said Chan had made it clear in public on numerous occasions that he would do everything he could to have the party’s goal realized by using force as well as getting ready to paralyze Hong Kong peacefully and for armed self-defense within five years, although he later claimed all of his planned measures would be legal and non-violent.
To prevent the HKNP from actually resorting to force, the government should not just sit and wait for such an event to happen but take precautionary measures to prevent it from making any actual moves in the future, the letter said.
As such, the officer urged Lee to exercise his power to ban the party, citing Article 8 of the Societies Ordinance, which stipulates that officials may recommend to the security chief to make an order to prohibit the operation of a society out of national security or public safety concerns, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Lee told media on Tuesday that he is giving the HKNP 21 days to submit a written defense as to why the government should not order the ban.
Meanwhile, Chan told an RTHK program on Wednesday that the whole thing should not be treated from a legal point of view because it is obviously an act of political oppression by the government on pro-independence activists.
Chan said he is awaiting legal advice on how to reply or whether to reply at all to the government before the deadline.
He also said seeking a judicial review, if the government goes ahead with the ban, is still an option.
Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement that it is concerned about the Hong Kong government’s plan to prohibit the HKNP’s continued operation, claiming the UK “does not support Hong Kong independence” but stressing that “Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, and its rights and freedoms, are central to its way of life, and it is important they are fully respected”.
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