According to state media, China’s top legislature started the second review of the Hong Kong National Security Law on Sunday as the severity of the punishment was discussed.
Xinhua News Agency, which previously reported on the content of the bill, said that at the three-day meeting, lawmakers in the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) would work out details “in accordance” with the city’s current situation.
Beijing loyalist Tam Yiu-chung – Hong Kong’s only delegate to the committee – told reporters on Saturday that he would forward calls for retroactive law, but no calls for legislative abolition.
“There is no longer any point in discussing conflicting views since the NPC made the decision on May 28 to enact the national security law for the SAR,” he added.
Meanwhile, Executive Ronny Tong, in conversation with RTHK, replied to reports that the maximum sentence for serious national security crimes would be life imprisonment or even trial to mainland China: “There are very, very few countries in the world that would lesser To impose punishment [than life imprisonment]. ”
Fear of death penalty
In response to reports that mainland suspects could be brought to justice, Tong said he had indicated that Hong Kong defenders should not be subjected to the death penalty available under the Chinese judicial system.
“I don’t know if this opinion is taken into account or not. However, I do understand that in the very rare situation where the Hong Kong courts and the SAR government cannot deal with the offenses involved, the mainland criminal court would apply That means you know that the matter is being negotiated on the mainland criminal law … That would include death sentences. ”
Wong Kwan-yu, pro-Beijing chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, also said on the same day, the penalties under the forthcoming law must be tougher than the existing ones to create a deterrent. He cited the city’s current maximum sentence for ten years of imprisonment that made milder punishment under the national security law unnecessary.
“So the [maximum] The sentence must be more severe than the riots. [The illegal acts] Secession and subversion and maybe terrorism. They have no idea how much damage terrorist activities can do. “
“As far as terrorism is concerned, the period of detention, as some sources have said, will only be three to ten years, the mildest in the world. We need the most severe punishment. The Hong Kong jurisdiction has no death penalty. Then life imprisonment. “
Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung repeated Earlier government statements expressed support for the draft law: “It is a means of securing Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability and getting Hong Kong back on track,” he wrote in a blog post on Sunday.
“National security legislation aims to prevent, curb and punish a minority of lawbreakers to protect the majority of Hong Kong citizens who abide by the law and their lives, property, fundamental rights and freedom in accordance with protect the law. “