Govt condemns news report

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today strongly disapproved of and condemned a Bloomberg news report on the Basic Law Article 23 legislation for generating misunderstanding and panic regarding the legislative proposals.

 

The headlines: "HK says Telegram should be prohibited in Article 23 proposal" and "HK says Signal should be prohibited in Article 23 proposal", and its report headlined "HK Security Law Public Consultation Lists Facebook, YouTube Ban", falsely reported that the Hong Kong SAR Government would legislate to ban the operation of the relevant platforms in Hong Kong,

 

In a statement, the Hong Kong SAR Government solemnly stated that it has not proposed to ban the operation of any social media, video sharing or streaming platforms in the city.

 

The annex to the relevant Legislative Council document covers a summary of written submissions received during the public consultation period by the Hong Kong SAR Government, spanning 75 pages.

 

The statement noted that the report in question one-sidedly handpicked three entries of submissions received among all others and completed it with a biased headline, attempting to mislead the international community and the public in believing the Hong Kong SAR Government is going to accept such views or prohibit the relevant platforms from operating in the city.

 

Its intention is indeed suspicious, the statement said, adding that the fake news published by Bloomberg has undermined its trustworthiness and credibility. Bloomberg should ensure future reports concerning the Basic Law Article 23 legislation is fair and just to avoid any further misunderstanding by its readers.

 

As repeatedly stressed by the Hong Kong SAR Government, the Basic Law, and the relevant provisions on safeguarding rights and freedoms of individuals in the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, including those on the freedom of speech, will also apply to the proposed local legislation on safeguarding national security.

 

Article 4 of the National Security Law clearly stipulates that human rights shall be respected and protected while safeguarding national security in the city. During the legislation, the Hong Kong SAR Government will adhere to the relevant international standards in safeguarding human rights and freedoms.

 

It will also make due reference to the views received during the public consultation and strive to finalise the Safeguarding National Security Bill as soon as possible for introduction to the Legislative Council, the statement noted.


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