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Press briefing notes Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Alarm by sentencing under national security law

11 October 2022

A prison van arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts building, as the hearing for the 47 pro-democracy activists, charged with conspiracy to commit subversion under the national security law, continues, in Hong Kong, China February 4, 2022. © Reuters

Delivered by

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani

Location

Geneva

We are alarmed by the sentencing on Saturday of another five people – four of them minors – under the National Security Law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China (Hong Kong SAR).

The UN Human Rights Office and a number of UN human rights mechanisms have repeatedly expressed concerns over the negative impact of the National Security Law on fundamental rights and freedoms in the Hong Kong SAR. We remind the Hong Kong SAR authorities of their obligations under international human rights law, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention on the Rights of the Child in Article 37 states that “the arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time”.

The UN Human Rights Committee, which oversees implementation of the Covenant, in July this year called on the Government to “take concrete steps to repeal the current National Security Law and, in the meantime, refrain from applying the Law”. We regret the continued application of the National Security Law, including against children, in spite of the clear recommendations of the Human Rights Committee.

We urge the authorities to bring the Hong Kong SAR’s legislation and practice fully into compliance with its international human rights obligations.

ENDS

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva
Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected] or
Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

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