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Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

SAR refutes 'one-sided, flawed' UN human rights report

SAR refutes 'one-sided, flawed' UN human rights report

The SAR government has rejected a United Nations committee report as "one-sided" and "flawed" after the report criticized the national security law for sabotaging the city's judiciary.
The rebuttal was made in a 3,450-word English statement released late Monday night, hours after the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights published the report the same day.

In the section on Hong Kong judicial independence, the report said "the committee is concerned about reports that the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region) SAR has de facto abolished the independence of the judiciary of the HKSAR, China."

The committee urged the SAR and Beijing to review the national security law to ensure judicial independence and that the legislation is "not arbitrarily used to interfere with it."

The report mentioned the human rights situation in Hong Kong, referring to a national security hotline set up in November 2020 by law enforcement to take reports from the public.

"The hotline is used extensively and might have detrimental effects on the work and expression of civil society, trade unions, teachers and other actors working on human rights," it said.

The UN committee said such reporting platform should be abolished.

In a lengthy statement, the government slammed the committee for having "selectively believed, and made sweeping statements based on false information and distorted narratives regardless of the truth."

A government spokesman dismissed the call for review as "not only totally unfounded, but also utterly perplexing," accusing the committee of turning a blind eye to Basic Law provisions that protect citizens' rights and freedoms.

"The National Security Law does not affect the legitimate exercise of the freedom of expression by Hong Kong residents, including criticizing government policies or policies and decisions made by officials, as well as publishing satiric content through different types of medium" he said.

He also hit out at the committee's call for the national security hotline to be abolished.

The spokesman said the hotline service facilitates citizens providing or reporting national security related information, saying the UN committee's call "unjustified."

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