Concern over detained HK people

Govt refutes remarks by US envoy

The Government today said comments made in a farewell statement by US Consul General to Hong Kong Hanscom Smith regarding the National Security Law are unfair criticisms no further from the truth.   In a statement responding to media enquiries, the Government pointed out that the National Security Law has clearly stipulated four categories of offences that endanger national security, adding that such offences are clearly defined and are similar to those in the national security laws of other jurisdictions.   Any law enforcement actions taken by Hong Kong law enforcement agencies are based on evidence, strictly according to the law, for the acts of the persons or entities concerned and have nothing to do with their background.   The Government further explained that prosecutions would only commence if there is sufficient admissible evidence to support a reasonable prospect of conviction and if it is in the public interest to do so.   A defendant may only be convicted by the court if the court is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant has the relevant actus reus and mens rea of the offence.   What the National Security Law seeks to prevent, suppress and punish are distinctly different from normal interactions. Law-abiding people will not unwittingly violate the law, the Government stressed.   It emphasised that it is a clear fact that the National Security Law has stopped chaos and restored order in Hong Kong, ensuring the smooth and continuous implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle and the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.   The statement added that the Government will continue to guard against any acts endangering national security and will bring any person or entity violating the law to justice regardless of background.   It also stressed that the remarks by the US consul general on the Chief Executive election held after the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's electoral system had been improved were made arbitrarily and oblivious of the fact that democracy has taken a quantum leap forward in the Hong Kong SAR since its return to the motherland in July 1997.   The statement noted that the development of democracy in the Hong Kong SAR must be consistent with its constitutional order under the Constitution and the Basic Law and the “one country, two systems” principle, as well as with the political, economic, social, cultural and historical circumstances of the Hong Kong SAR.   Improving the electoral system, fully implementing the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” and safeguarding the overall interests of society are conducive to the stable development of Hong Kong's democracy, it added.
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