US, CANADA REMARKS CONDEMNED

13-4-2024

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The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today strongly condemned the US and Canada for smearing the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance under the pretext of foreign travel advice updates.

The so-called travel advice claimed that the risks of travelling to Hong Kong would increase after the ordinance comes into effect.

Pointing out that it is a political manoeuvre with fact-twisting and scaremongering remarks to spread panic, the Hong Kong SAR Government urged the US and Canada to stop their attempts to interfere in Hong Kong safeguarding national security in accordance with the law.

The Hong Kong SAR Government said that the offences endangering national security stipulated in the ordinance precisely target acts endangering national security, and define the elements and penalties of the offences with clarity. Moreover, the prosecution has the burden to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant had the actus reus and mens rea of an offence before the defendant may be convicted by the court.

Separately, the Hong Kong SAR Government made it clear that extraterritorial effect for the offences under the Hong Kong National Security Law and the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance is both necessary and legitimate, and is also in line with those of other countries and regions around the world.

“It can be seen that the national security laws of various countries, including the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and the member states of the European Union, also have extraterritorial effect under the personality principle and the protective principle.

“In formulating the extraterritorial effect under the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance, we have already taken into account the principles of international law and international practice of state jurisdiction as well as the nature of the offences.”

The Hong Kong SAR Government further emphasised that its law enforcement agencies have been taking enforcement actions based on evidence and strictly in accordance with the law in respect of the acts of the people concerned.

It stressed that the claims of arbitrary enforcement and wrongful detention completely disregard the facts.

It also strongly opposed the countries concerned for attempting to achieve political goals by means of intimidation and interference with the legitimate exchanges of the public and the business sector.

The Hong Kong SAR Government stated that it has always welcomed ordinary travellers and businessmen, and if they do not conduct acts and activities endangering national security and not unwittingly violate the law, they have no reason to be worried. 




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