Police Crowd Hong Kong As Lawmakers Compose Their Debate Insult Ban
‘Hong Kong police ramped up security around the city’s legislature on Wednesday ahead of a debate over a law that would ban insulting China’s national anthem, the latest measure activists say is chipping away at free speech in the finance hub.’
The debate comes days after China make known their separate plans to put forward a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong following last year’s huge and often violent pro-democracy meetings.
That move has caused Washington to alert that Hong Kong might lose its standing as a global financial focal point if the city’s freedoms and acclaimed judicial independence are swept aside by Beijing.
Under a protocol acceded with Britain before the city’s return to China, Hong Kong is assumed to be guaranteed certain freedoms until 2047 that are rejected of those on the mainland.
*A police source told AFP that “thousands” of officers had been placed on standby ready to respond to any attempts to block traffic outside the legislature or breach the building.*
Hong Kong’s government is pushing a bill that will prohibit insulting communist China’s “March of the Volunteers” anthem, making it punishable by up to three years in jail which will be strictly embedded in their constitution.
‘Some unions and student groups made calls for a general strike for Wednesday but it was unclear whether crowds would materialise.’