Rally to Condemn Hong Kong Article 23 Legislation

When: Saturday March 23, 2024, 11:30 am
Where: Toronto Chinese Consulate, 240 St George St, Toronto
Why: Emergency Protest Against Hong Kong’s Article 23 Legislation

The Toronto Association for Democracy in China (TADC) strongly condemns Hong Kong government’s Article 23 of the Basic Law.

Hong Kong lawmakers unanimously passed the new national security law on Tuesday that expands on the National Security Law imposed by Beijing in 2020 – a law that allows the government to arbitrarily criminalize subversion, secession, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces.

These offences could apply to persons who displays even the most indirect, remote, or tenuous connection to such actions — whether legitimate or otherwise — and interpreted by the authorities with the most broad and vague definitions of terms such as “state secret” or “external forces.”

Possessing a publication deemed seditious—the Apple Daily, for example—could attract up to three years in jail under the new law, which also gives police the right to search any premises to seize and destroy such material. Anyone found guilty of treason could face life imprisonment.

The hasty passage of this law by a “patriot-only” legislative council compliant to Beijing’s every wish is predicated on a “public consultation” that is seen as a farce. Simply put, it allows Hong Kong to do away with due process as recognized under international law and further allows the government to “rule by law.”

There is no doubt that Hong Kong authorities would fully utilize this new legislation to further curtail freedom or civil liberties in the region, as well as to apply it extraterritorially in their ongoing campaign of transnational repression to intimidate and to restrict free speech by anyone, whether Chinese citizens or Hong Kongers or not, who live abroad.

Moreover, Article 23 would compound the already draconian National Security Law, with vaguely defined provisions and purported extraterritorial reach, and further dismantle the supposedly internationally binding “One Country, Two Systems” framework.

TADC calls on the Canadian government as well as nations of the free world to censure Hong Kong and its Chinese masters for their continuing and increasing repression of the people of Hong Kong.

Media Contact: Cheuk Kwan, Co-chair, 416-804-1527