Hong Kong justice chief warns online criticism could breach new law

SpaceWar.com reports: “Hong Kong’s justice minister has warned that posting and sharing criticism of the city’s newly enacted national security law could be in breach of the legislation, which lays down harsh penalties for sedition.

The ‘Article 23’ legislation, which came into force on Saturday, includes penalties of up to life imprisonment for five categories of crime including treason, insurrection, espionage, sabotage and external interference.

It also expanded the British colonial-era offence of ‘sedition’ to include inciting hatred against China’s Communist Party leadership.

Secretary for Justice Paul Lam said in a televised interview on Sunday that a person might commit an offence if they reposted online critical statements issued by foreign countries and persons overseas, depending on their ‘intention and purpose’.

‘An extreme scenario could be that the person posted (the statements) online because they strongly agreed with it, and they added some comments, made additional remarks, purely for the purpose of inciting other residents’ hatred against the (Hong Kong) and central governments,’ Lam said.

‘In that case of course there is a risk and a chance (of breaching the law).’…”

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