No pretence, no disguise left. Hong King’s National Security Law is being used as a tool to silence expression, crush dissent. One of HK’s most senior barristers is arrested again, as part of another crackdown, this time on @StandNewsHK where she was formerly a board member.
Nothing to see here. Only Hong Kong’s second most senior politician trampling over a free press, protected under Hong Kong’s Basic Law by the ICCPR, without qualms.

The #NSL - “a coup dressed up in statute.”
The powerful sentencing remarks of 73 year old barrister & former lawmaker, Margaret Ng, in her own mitigation earlier this year.

“The law should give protection to rights, not take them away, especially in Hong Kong, where structural democracy is still absent”.
A useful analysis by @tom_kellogg on how #NSL is being used to influence wider HK laws.

Given that protestors, politicians, lawmakers, unions & journalists are being openly targeted, HK courts must stand up against what is being done. Will they? #lawfare.…
2021 ending as it began - dawn raids & arrests instilling a sense of hopelessness. @StandNewsHK closes down after assets frozen & 7 arrested during an operation over “conspiracy to publish seditious material”.

A frightening chill cast over journalists & HK’s press community.
Statement from @fcchk on #pressfreedom:

“These actions are a further blow to press freedom in Hong Kong and will continue to chill the media environment in the city following a difficult year for the city’s news outlets.”
As #pressfreedom is ravaged in Hong Kong, so-called ‘national security’ deployed shamelessly to force editors to toe the line, former Board members & prominent democrats are also arrested. Human rights lawyer Margaret Ng has secured bail. It’s an outrage she was arrested at all.
#Lawfare A valuable thread for lawyers following the use and expansion of the #NSL law in Hong Kong, considering how it infects other legal provisions including the sedition charges used to clamp down on #PressFreedom. Journalism is not sedition, #JournalismIsNotACrime.
Glad, relieved to see this. But none of the journalists, editors or defenders of a free press - Denise Ho or human rights lawyer Margaret Ng- should have been arrested at all. #StandWithHongKong

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More from @WomaninHavana

20 Dec
#Egypt BHRC considers the continued prosecution & detention of activist @alaa, human rights lawyer Mohammed El Baqer & blogger Mohamed Oxygen are emblematic of the profound rule of law crisis.

Here is Laila Soueif in the @nytimes y’day on her jailed son.

Verdicts today.
We @BarHumanRights stand w/ the legal community & in solidarity with human rights lawyer Mohammed El Baqer, founder of Adalah Centre for Rights & Freedoms, as he awaits a verdict today in Egypt’s security court, on baseless charges. His client, @alaa & Oxygen should all be freed.
The vagueness of these serious but baseless charges, the lack of appeal. It doesn’t get easier. @alaa
Read 4 tweets
14 Dec
There is so much political chaos & distraction that we often don’t see the detail of what govt does.

The promised warm welcome to Afghans has not materialised, the Afghan resettlement scheme is still not open, & today govt has made it harder for Afghans to seek safety here.
This leaves Afghan refugees at increased risk & facing harsh consequences & criminalisation under the govt’s #BordersBill.

Johnson promised:We will never forget the brave sacrifice made by Afghans who chose to work with us, at great risk to themselves.

This 🧵gives more detail.
See this detailed legal opinion by @UNHCRUK on #BordersBill. UNHCR warns it undermines the Refugee Convention, the policies would risk the lives & wellbeing of vulnerable people & would undermine govt stated goal of improving protection for those at risk.…
Read 4 tweets
14 Dec
Dominic Raab’s long campaign against the Human Rights Act takes shape in a cynical attempt to water down rights protections, including for some of the most vulnerable in our society, under the nationalist guise of reframing arguments about what is ‘quintessentially British’. A 🧵
2. Although i need to read the details of the proposals, there are multiple alarm bells in this piece by a sitting Justice Secretary. It is hard to square any ‘common sense’ justification with the severe & regressive bills on rights before Parliament.
3. Current bills before Parliament:
-impair our right to meaningful protest
- permit citizenship to be summarily removed without notice
- violate the spirit & letter of our international legal obligations to asylum seekers
- introduce a controversial electoral Bill on voter ID.
Read 23 tweets
13 Dec
“While the whole country is still compulsively debating whether, when, & how often its Prime Minister has lied and cheated…this government is hammering away at the very foundations of what Britain once stood for more than any other country: liberal democracy.” @annettedittert
We have had far too little focused debate on the detail of draconian legislation put forward by govt, ramming it through Parliament with a huge majority & little scrutiny. Protest rights, citizenship, electoral ID, refugees & aconstant chipping away at the separation of powers.
The comparisons with Jarosław Kaczyński’s Law and Justice Party (PiS) party in Poland, which won an absolute majority in 2015, and its subsequent “assault on the two pillars of any democracy – the judiciary & media” - are important. We assume it can’t happen in our democracy.
Read 5 tweets
9 Dec
Following Geoffrey Nice QC as he delivers the judgment of the @TribunalUyghur on #Xinjiang.

Delivery Of Uyghur Tribunal Judgment (ENGLISH)
It is chilling, difficult and powerful to listen to this judgment.

I am not live tweeting because I want to listen to every word. The summary judgment will be available shortly on the homepage: #Xinjiang
A very significant finding however: PRC has implemented a deliberate, systematic & concerted policy of long-term reduction of Uyghur & other ethnic minority populations by limiting birth rates. #UyghurTribunal
Read 7 tweets
25 Nov
Not only is govt introducing this fiercely anti-democratic law, it is doing it on the sly - forcing through alarming amendments in the Lords so only v committed peers will sit until the early hours to challenge them.

This is not how confident, healthy democracy should function.
For more detail on the amendments Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, to which the government quietly tabled these alarming amendments on the right to protest, see Adam’s thread here:
The way in which these very alarming amendments to protest rights have been tabled by the govt before the Lords *and* the way in which they are forced through at speed and requiring committed peers to sit until the early hours of challenge, is a double form assault on democracy.
Read 6 tweets

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