Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #NSL

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@UyghurProject is in Geneva 🇨🇭 for China's review under the 🇺🇳 UN's Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women #CEDAW.

Watch this space for live updates👇🏽
@UyghurCongress @hk_watch @TibetAdvocacy @ISHRglobal @ISHR_chinese @sarahmcneer @benedictrogers @Dolkun_Isa @PeterIrwin_ @ZumretErkin "We highly valued the participation and inputs of NGOs, academics and experts from research institutions participated in the drafting," says Huang Xiaowei, head of the Chinese delegation.

UHRP didn't get a call unfortunately. Image
@UyghurCongress @hk_watch @TibetAdvocacy @ISHRglobal @ISHR_chinese @sarahmcneer @benedictrogers @Dolkun_Isa @PeterIrwin_ @ZumretErkin "China has worked with UNESCO in [supporting] girls and women's education to encourage equity," says Huang Xiaowei.

Here's a 2022 @UyghurProject report on China's cultural cleansing of Uyghurs, instrumentalizing orgs like @UNESCO 👇🏽…
Read 34 tweets
On the protest-annulled Labour Day in HK, leftist party League of Social Democrats and the Women Workers Association would have small group petitions separately outside the government HQs to advocate for labour rights. Image
Before the 1st group LSD arrived , some 20-30 officers were seen deployed nearby with at least two holding a video camera to record the petition.
When Chan Po-ying, chairwoman of LSD arrived, an acting sergeant from the central police precinct read out an 8-point “reminder” to her. The points will be laid out in English translation from the next tweet.
Read 11 tweets
1/BREAKING: #UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers sent a communication letter to the #PRC Government on #HK's #NSL, legal aid and law reforms affecting local & overseas #lawyers. Images are extracts. Full text:… ImageImageImage
2/ This letter of communication covers issues of human rights protections, judicial independence, fair trial under the NSL, as well as police powers, legal aid reforms, new cap of judicial review, foreign counsel and the latest government proposed bill of the Legal Practitioners……
3/ Impressive quotes can be found: 'Many of the provisions in the NSL seem to be at odds with your Excellency’s Government international legal obligations, in particular as set out in the ICCPR and customary law norms recognized in the UDHR.'
Read 8 tweets
“We all agreed that the legislation of Article 23 (of the Basic Law) will happen very soon 好快會發生,” said HK Bar Council chairman Victor Dawes at a press briefing just now wrapping the 1st day of the council’s first visit to Beijing in 5 years. Image
Dawes was talking about the close-door meeting the council’s delegation had this morning with Shen Chunyao, chairman of the NPCSC Legal Work Committee. Dawes said they had “candid communication” that touched upon a wide range of topics including the #BL23 legislation and #NSL.
“We emphasised to Chairman Shen that in the legislative exercise, other than safeguarding national security, the protection for human rights should be considered and we hope a fine balance can be struck,” Dawes said.
Read 5 tweets
With a surge in #NSL arrests, many in #Hongkong may be feeling uneasy. Time to revisit some basic knowledge about police arrests and searches: THREAD (not legal advice, talk to a lawyer, etc.)
1. For an arrest and house search, there is going to be a bunch of police officers. Don't freak out, most of them are just gonna stand around and let a few people do the actual work. It's going to be slow because they're bureaucrats.
2. The police need a warrant to search your home/office. They should show it to you. It should state the address to be searched, and the reason. The warrant will probably empower them to take anything (personal belongings and digital devices).
Read 15 tweets
#NOW Au Nok-hin, first of the 4 accomplice witnesses in the #NSL trial charging 47 pro-dem activists of "conspiracy to commit subversion" over an unofficial primary of the camp, began to take the prosecution's witness stand this afternoon as judges decided to...
...have reading-out of the admitted facts to give way for the calling of witnesses.

Although the #NSL prosecutor Anthony Chau asked Au to tell how the 35+ project began from "early 2020", Au said "the story began from December 2019", when #BennyTai ...
...published an article outlining his vision for the pro-dem camp winning majority in LegCo on the now-shuttered #AppleDaily.

Au also revealed to court that he met Tai to discuss the idea for the first time at a meal gathering in "late January 2020"...
Read 18 tweets
#JUSTIN Two HK young men in their early 20 were just now sentenced to 5 years in jail for “conspiracy to incite subversion” as members of the now disbanded activist group “Returning Valiants”. 5 other minor defendants in the same case were sentenced to training center last year.
The two young men are Choi Wing-kit, 21, and Chris Chan Yau-tsun, 26. Choi was also sentenced to 6 months in jail for "possession of offensive weapon" in a separate burglary case, among which 3 months will be running concurrently with the 5-year sentence.
The police operation between May and Sep 2021 against #ReturningValiant was the second largest group arrest under #NSL by far, following the mass round-up of 55 pro-dem politicians on 6 Jan 2021 over the allegedly subversive pro-dem camp primary election (currently in trial).
Read 12 tweets
Who are in the curious long queue outside the West Kowloon Court trying to take up public seats for the largest #NSL trial with 47 pro-dem politicians and activists charged of "conspiracy to commit subversion" ?

Pro-Beijing Ta Kung Pao had some serious thoughts.
In its signature column today, Ta Kung Pao ran a piece entitled "Resolutely stop the ill trend of 'court attending masters' troubling courts" accusing public members who attended trials in relation to the 2019 protests "fellows of the black-clad riots". But ... Image
...the opening example of this commentary is "As the Primary Election case opened trial in the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts, there are large number of people queuing for a seats in the trial's public gallery every early morning - some even stood in line overnight". Image
Read 10 tweets
#NOW a curious long queue is extending outside the West Kowloon Court for the #NSL trial with 47 democrats charged of “conspiracy to commit subversion”. Many of them queued overnight and refused to talk to reporters. Some said they don’t know what the case is about.
A woman at the head of the queue said she wanted to see whether there would be a fair verdict and appeared to have no idea it’s the beginning of the trial. “They indeed committed a crime so I want to see whether the court would give them fair punishment.”
Three men down the line told me they had no idea what the case is about. One said he came as his wife ordered (at that moment a woman behind him asked him to stop talking to reporters), and another one said he came because he watched a movie about a trial recently.
Read 21 tweets
What's happening in HK on Monday? Border fully reopened, and the largest by-far #NSL trial kicking off after 2 yrs of pre-trial proceeding - when 34 / 47 defendants were kept behind bars, 31 / 47 chose to plead guilty, and at least 3 turned into prosecution witnesses.
In this advancer w/ @JeromeTaylor we reviewed what this case is about, who are among those being charged, what are the key legal disputes, and how analysts observe / understand the trial.…
HK's former legal sector lawmaker @denniswhkwok told @AFP the trial is "a complete farce" : "Subversion...doesn't include people who simply run for office and pledge to use their public office to force the government to respond to the demands of the people they represent."
Read 7 tweets
#NOW HK Chief Justice Andrew Cheung is delivering his speech for ceremonial opening of the legal year 2023. His speech will devote to “role of the judiciary” - “an inaccurate, incomplete or misconceived understanding of the role of the Judiciary is often the reason…
…an inaccurate, incomplete or misconceived understanding of the role of the Judiciary is often the reason for misplaced or inappropriate criticisms of court decisions, or even personal attacks against our judges,” Cheung said.
“It is …entirely proper for someone, if there are good grounds, to criticise the court or a judge for misapplying the law. It is, however, wrong to criticise a judge simply for applying laws which one does not like or agree with…laws are not enacted by judges”
Read 13 tweets
#CONTINUE Chung Pui-kuen is on the witness stand for the 3rd day. Today defense counsel Audrey Eu began to ask Chung questions about how the prosecution described what happened in Hong Kong in 2019 and after #NSL came in force and the 17 "seditious" articles.
For background this is an old thread about the prosecution's case against #StandNews and what "judicial notice" they wanted the court to take in order to determine the nature of the offence:
The prosecution cited the opening paragraph describing HK's situation since the protests in 2019 in a resolution by the NPCSC on May 28, 2020 to enact an #NSL for Hong Kong. The paragraph said since the #antiELAB protests in 2019, "anti-China destabilising forces in Hong Kong"...
Read 38 tweets
#CONTINUE #StandNews founding chief editor Chung Pui-kuen began this morning his second day on witness stand. The first QA session with his defense counsel lasted 1.5 hours and ended when Chung choked in tears as he spoked about the last day of #AppleDaily in June 2021.
* Chung told the court that after #NSL came in force, he decided to stop publishing any commentary that advocated for independence and separation of any part of China, however, he did not set such a red line for #StandNews reporting.
* "If a political figure with public attention indeed raised such a proposition, we believed we should still let our readers know instead of filtering it out, otherwise, some readers might believe that person was rather moderate and trust-worthy."
Read 26 tweets
#DEVELOPING Chung Pui-kuen, founding chief editor of #StandNews began to take the witness stand this morning as defense started their case.

A few points from Chung's account:
* The 3 founders of #StandNews chose to surrender their rights to benefits and to sell the company shares to a trust fund in order to minimize impacts on the news company in case any of them were under threats or pressure - a lesson learned from the shuttering of House News.
* #StandNews registered with the regulator of newspapers and magazines the day after HK gov announced to allow online media to join official pressers etc in 2017 because #StandNews wanted to provide more comprehensive coverage and better discharge duty to supervise the authority.
Read 25 tweets
1/ Beijing's interpretation of #HK's #NSL (articles 14 and 47) fully empowers the Committee for Safeguarding National Security to override judicial decisions in the future, if local courts fail to obtain certificates from the Chief Executive in light of national security matters.
2/ Theoretically, the NSL interpretation today creates a de facto Prerogative State like what Germany had in the 1930s, when national security authorities enjoys privileges to adjudicate political trials whereas local courts operated in parallel to handle other disputes.
3/ The NSL interpretation solves whether overseas lawyers (without full qualification in HK) could defend NSL cases. This does not only lie in criminal cases but also civil matters. Now, the National Security Committee can trump all judicial decisions:…
Read 5 tweets
A #thread on what led to HK leader's propose of first interpretation of #NSL, what questions have arisen from his proposal, and what may be at stake as the matter continues to unfold.

It started with #JimmyLai hoping to engage veteran British lawyer Tim Owen KC for #NSL trial.
Jimmy Lai, founder of the now-shuttered #AppleDaily, is charged of 2 counts of "conspiracy to collude with foreign forces" under the #NSL and 1 count of "conspiracy to publish seditious publication" under HK's Crimes Ordinance. The former can lead to life in jail.
While all the other individuals involved in Lai's case have pleaded guilty, Lai and 3 #AppleDaily companies were originally scheduled to stand trial from 1 Dec. The date was fixed by 3 designated #NSL judges although Lai's HK lawyer made it clear he would not be available.
Read 21 tweets
#BREAKING HK leader John Lee said he would propose to Beijing to request an interpretation of #NSL regarding ad hoc admission of overseas counsels.
John Lee: The right to legal representation for defendants in a nat sec case means he/she can freely choose from counsels who are fully qualified to practice in HK, not to choose from foreign counsels without such qualification.
John Lee: Hence even when a nat sec defendant cannot hire an overseas counsel, it’s still in accordance with the requirements to guarantee the accused’s rights and freedom provided in the article 4 and 5 of #NSL .
Read 9 tweets
Hong Kong's court of final appeal decided to allow UK barrister Tim Owen to defend Jimmy Lai in #AppleDaily's #NSL trial, dismissing DOJ's application for leave to appeal. Focus is now on potential Beijing's intervention as loyalists may call for NPC to amend the law. Verdict👇 ImageImage
Main reason of 3 top judges: SJ had fundamentally changed his case only at the stage of seeking leave to appeal to CFA, 'had raised undefined & unsubstantiated issues said to involve national security which were not mentioned or explored in the courts below...
...and no appropriate basis had been made out for the grant of leave to appeal'. The court didn't rule on the legitimacy of admissions of overseas counsel in this case, but noted that national security issues should be considered if they're 'properly raised & duly explored'.
Read 4 tweets
#Thread about HK prosecution's opening statement on the #StandNews "conspiracy to publish seditious publications" case.

In the 53-page document, the prosecutor wrote 3 times that the seditious intent in the articles were "self-evident" 不言而喻/不宣而告.
The prosecution said the crux of their case is not about the defendants, namely Best Pencil Ltd, Chung Pui-kuen and Patrick Lam "taking actual actions in accordance with their unlawful agreement", but that they "had reached an unlawful agreement to publish seditious publications"
As said on the first day, the prosecution said they do not have to prove the seditious intent in the defendants; they only have to prove that the defendants were aware of the seditious intent in the articles.
Read 10 tweets
District Court #NSL judge Kwok Wai-kin ruled that all 17 articles - though 10 were beyond the 6-month time limit of the sedition offense - are admitted as evidence.

The 17 articles are:

1.Personal feature of @KwaiLamHo as she participated in the primaries
2.Personal feature of @owenchowkashing
3.Personal feature of Fergus Leung
4.Commentary by Chan Pui-man criticising speech crime and sedition offense
5.Commentary by @nathanlawkc entitled “under the new norm of #NSL, how should we resist and keep thinking”
6.Personal feature of @nathanlawkc after he fled to UK
7.Commentary by @nathanlawkc about resilience in a chaotic world
8.Personal feature of @tedhuichifung after he fled Hong Kong
9.Personal feature of @LeungBaggio after he fled Hong Kong
Read 8 tweets
This #thread is about the first day of the trial of #StandNews and its two former chief editors Chung Pui-kuen and Patrick Lam, a case as my colleague @holmeschan_ described that "literally put press freedom on trial".

@AFP report up-picked by VOA:…
The 3 defendants, Best Pencil Ltd (#StandNews parent company) , Chung and Lam, were charged of "conspiracy to publish seditious publications", a British colonial offense the carries up to 24 months in jail.

But Chung and Lam has been in pre-trial detention for 10 months because
...sedition is now treated as a national security crime that's not in the #NSL Beijing imposed on HK in mid-2020 and hence bail is usually denied.

Both Chung and Lam have pleaded not guilty to the charge so they won't have 1/3 discount if they are convicted and facing sentence.
Read 21 tweets
“He asked people to keep breathing” - a #thread about today’s mitigation of the now-disbanded #StudentPoliticism members in their #NSL case of “incitement to subversion” and ballooning issue of minimum sentence and PG discount in #NSL cases.
4 members of #StudentPoliticism Wong Yat-chin, Chan Chi-sum, Chu Wai-ying and Wong Yuen-lam, pleaded guilty in July to one count of “conspiracy to incite subversion”, an offence that carries up to 10 years in jail under #NSL. Mitigation began this morning.
Before D1 Wong Yat-chin’s lawyer started, prosecutor Vincent Lee raised in court that Wong’s FB page published a post 3 days ago in which Wong wrote he had no regret. Lee asked Wong’s lawyer to clarify whether Wong was not remorseful - an element to consider for commutation.
Read 13 tweets
#DEVELOPNG Preliminary inquiry of #HKAlliance's "incitement to subversion" case has started this morning. Chow Hang-tung @zouxingtong told the court, "It's impossible to plead guilty. Pursuing democracy is not a crime. I plead not guilty." She is going to give evidence.
The prosecution submitted 58 statements from 39 witnesses, 136 pieces of documentary exhibits and a for now unclear number of video clips to the court as evidence. No witness will be called to court as a condition Chow agreed earlier in order to strike down reporting restriction.
History of June 4 crackdown in 1989 and over 3 decades of commemorations in Hong Kong comes back in vivid images in open court as Chow Hang-tung replays video footage submitted by the prosecution as evidence against the Alliance's alleged "incitement to subversion" offence.
Read 18 tweets
This is a #thread to explain the reporting restrictions removed today and yesterday re the #NSL cases of 47 pro-dem activists "conspiracy to subversion" and of the #HKAlliance "incitement to subversion".
The ban is pursuant to article 87A of the Magistrates Ordinance and hence popularly known as the "87A ban" or simply "87A" in HK.

The ban covers a pre-trial procedure called "committal proceeding" - when a magistrate is supposed to scrutinize the allegation and...
...decides whether the case is fit and ready for proceeding to formal trial. At this stage, a defendant can opt for a "preliminary inquiry" to go through the prosecution's evidence and examine the witnesses. If a defendant wins a PI, the case will be thrown out of court.
Read 25 tweets

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