Hong Kong not becoming ‘police state’, says official

June 08, 2022 12:00 am | Updated 05:32 am IST - Hong Kong

Amnesty International accuses authorities of ‘harassment’

Hong Kong is not becoming a “police state”, the city’s top law enforcement officer said on Tuesday, days after his officers stamped out the city’s once-permitted commemorations marking Beijing’s deadly Tiananmen crackdown.

The Chinese business hub is preparing for an upcoming leadership change as well as the 25th anniversary of the city’s handover from Britain, for which President Xi Jinping is widely expected to visit.

Speaking to local outlet about beefed-up security activity around the event, commissioner Raymond Siu Chak-yee rejected criticism that the police were becoming too powerful.

“A police state is where the government forcibly controls various aspects of people’s life with administrative measures and without going through legal procedures,” he said.

“Hong Kong is a society of rule of law, not a police state.” His comments come after police arrested six people on Saturday as authorities pounced on any attempt to publicly remember China’s 1989 crackdown on peaceful protesters.

Amnesty International has accused authorities of “harassment and indiscriminate targeting” for the arrests. Police closed the site of a once annual Tiananmen vigil and jam-packed the surrounding area, one of the busiest shopping districts in Hong Kong, with officers.

Since Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong in 2020, authorities have cracked down on dissent.

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