UN Human Rights Committee urges Hong Kong to take steps to repeal national security law

The UN Human Rights Committee Wednesday called for Hong Kong authorities to take urgent steps to repeal the Beijing-decreed national security law amid concerns of the legislation threatening civil rights.

Within the report, the Committee expressed deep concern about “the overly broad interpretation” of the law, which it reports has led to the “arrests of over 200 people, including 12 children” since 2020. The Committee additionally “raised concern about the excessive number of civil society organizations… which have relocated or ceased to operate since the enactment of the NSL.” This includes the University of Hong Kong’s student union, which was disbanded when four members were arrested for “glorifying terrorism”  after the union passed a motion to publicly mourn the death of a suspect who attacked a Hong Kong police officer.

Beijing imposed the law on Hong Kong following the country’s anti-government protests in 2020, with the law making it easier to prosecute protesters and activists.

The law has been met with widespread criticism with Amnesty International last year stating that the national security law had created a “human rights emergency” in Hong Kong.

The findings published by the UN Human Rights Committee also examined the implementation of civil and political rights in the Chinese region of Macao, Georgia, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Uruguay.