Draconian HK National Security Law: enter premises, forfeit assets and control internet

Hong Kong police have been authorized today to enter premises without a warrant, restrict suspects’ movement by taking away their travel documents, freeze/forfeit assets including foreign nationalities, intercept communication and request internet service providers or platform to remove information on the internet.

On Monday night, the government gazetted on the details of Article 43 of the controversial legislation, which criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism, and foreign interference. It came after the first meeting of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR, chaired by Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

national security committee

Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR. Photo: GovHK.

The police force, who has already turned the world financial center into a police state for 392 days, is now empowered to confiscated private assets and properties in Hong Kong—Chinese Communist Party’s new round of vacuuming private assets in Hong Kong.

The secretary for security may issue a written notice to freeze assets if they have “reasonable grounds” to suspect the property is related to an offense of the national security law.

In 2018, the Hong Kong police force confiscated Miles Guo’s assets valued more than USD 10 billion without sufficient legal documents. In September last year, Guo warned the entrepreneurs in the mainland and Hong Kong that the CCP might forfeit their private assets at whatever excuse suits them. Article 43 will be the best excuse for legalized such activities.

Meanwhile, the swift enforcement of Article 43 bestows the police force the power to arrest anyone literally in the city, including foreign expatriates in Hong Kong, without a warrant. Under the controversial new law, the police force has already arrested 315 civilians within seven days. At least five dead bodies have been found but declared “legally” by the police.

Civic Party in Hong Kong charted the major four aspects of Article 43: Internet surveillance and intercept communications; Forfeit private assets; Covet surveillance; Arresting foreign expatriates

More than 12,000 citizens have lost their lives during the protest movement that has lasted more than a year.

Under Article 43, police can also apply for a warrant to demand suspected violators of the national security law to surrender their travel documents to restrict them from leaving the territory.

Additionally, the secretary for justice may apply for a restraining order or charging order to the Court of First Instance to confiscate or forfeit such property.

Meanwhile, the commissioner of police is to be given powers to control the dissemination of information online, when they have “reasonable grounds” to suspect such information may lead to national security crimes. Such enforcement may require a relevant publisher, platform service provider, hosting service provider, or network service providers to remove information that the authorities deem a threat to national security. They may also restrict or stop anyone from accessing to such platforms.

The police brutality in Hong Kong. If the world failed to “Stand with Hong Kong”, what has happened in the city would happen in the rest of world. It is not a war in a besieged city, it is a war of humanity. (Photo: Teller Report)

If the information publisher fails to cooperate immediately, the police may apply for a warrant to seize the electronic devices involved and remove that information. They may also face a fine of HK$100,000 and one year of imprisonment for failing to cooperate with the authorities.

Police may require internet service providers to provide relevant identification records or decryption assistance. Any service provider who fails to comply with the requests is liable upon conviction to a fine of HK$100,000 and six months behind bars.

According to the new stipulations, the head of the police force may – with the permission of the security chief – ask international political organizations and those based in Taiwan to hand over information, including data on their activities in Hong Kong, personal data, sources of income and expenditure. Any group that does not act in accordance with the demands of the authorities faces a fine of HK$100,000 and six months in jail.

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