A Statement from the European Falun Dafa Association

The European Falun Dafa Association opposes the proposed legislation to implement Article 23 of the Basic Law.

It is widely known that the proposal, popularly known as the “anti-subversion” law, was written under direct pressure from China and would make it possible “to proscribe an organisation … affiliated with a Mainland organization which has been proscribed in the Mainland by the Central Authorities”.

Hong Kong currently has a legal system modelled on that of the UK. However, if the proposal became law, Hong Kong would have to ban any organisation determined by China as a national security risk, thereby making a mockery of HK’s autonomy and the “one country, two systems” principle. All dissident groups could be affected including Falun Gong, democracy activists and Catholics. The anti-subversion law would also put serious restrictions on HK’s media with regard to publishing information relating to Beijing. In essence, the law would mean importation to HK of China’s totalitarian control and human rights abuse, and HK courts effectively can only watch. China will be able to extend to Hong Kong its evil persecution of peaceful people who endeavour to conduct their daily lives in accordance with the spiritual qualities of “Truth Compassion Tolerance”.

Although Hong Kong is required under its Basic Law to enact “Article-23” legislation, the current proposal is far more draconian than stipulated in the Basic Law. The consultation paper has provoked widespread and strong opposition from key figures in the legal, political, human rights, religious, media and other communities in HK.

The proposed law has met widespread opposition around world. In Hong Kong on December 15, 2002, 60,000 people from all walks of life marched through the streets, as a chorus of "We Shall Overcome" filled the air. It was one of the largest protests in the Territory since its handover to China. In Europe, Chris Patten, EC Commissioner for External Affairs stated 6/11/02 at the Cathay Pacific China Trader Award “The HK anti?sedition law is a worrying step in the wrong direction.” In addition, UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said 19/11/02: "the UK has a responsibility to ensure that rights and freedoms enshrined in the Joint Declaration are maintained - and that any new legislation must be compatible with these rights and freedoms and with maintaining Hong Kong's autonomy." A British government statement issued 18/11/02 in HK made clear that any legislation that undermined the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms would be "seriously damaging" to the territory. US State Department deputy spokesman Philip Reeker stated, according to the BBC 22/11/02, that any system in HK must be "predictable, transparent and fair".

The HK government should heed the voices of people. We urge the SAR authority to preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy in determining the legal status of Falun Gong and other groups in Hong Kong, to ensure that the rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people are upheld, and to comply with widespread calls for a white bill for public consultation.

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