Nova lei de segurança em Hong Kong prevê penas até prisão perpétua


    Hong Kong Approves Controversial National Security Law

    In a decisive move that has drawn international attention, the 90-seat legislature of Hong Kong has passed a new national security law, known as Article 23, which introduces stringent measures against a range of offenses. The law, which was approved just 11 days after being proposed, has sparked concerns among Western governments about the potential erosion of freedoms in the global financial center.

    The legislation encompasses a broad spectrum of crimes, including treason, sabotage, sedition, theft of state secrets, and espionage. Prevê penas que podem ir até à prisão perpétua para várias infracções e até 20 anos para a espionagem, reflecting the severity with which the city’s authorities are approaching national security. The law also targets foreign political entities and organizations in Hong Kong, aiming to prevent what it defines as “external interference.”

    While some legal professionals note similarities between Hong Kong’s revised sentences and those in Western jurisdictions, there is concern that provisions related to sedition and state secrets are broader and more severe. The law’s passage is a response to Article 23 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution since its 1997 handover from Britain to China. A previous attempt to enact Article 23 in 2003 was met with massive public protests and was subsequently shelved.

    The business community, including foreign banks and media outlets, as well as diplomats and academics, are closely monitoring the situation. There is apprehension that the laws could impose further limitations on Hong Kong’s freedoms and affect data security. The legislation introduces a new offense of computer sabotage that endangers national security, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

    Despite the broad definition of state secrets in the law, which encompasses military, security, diplomatic, and various other types of classified information, there are provisions for public interest defenses. However, the criteria for such defenses are stringent.

    John Lee, Hong Kong’s leader, insists that the laws adhere to international standards and safeguard the region’s rights and freedoms. Yet, this new legislation adds to existing national security laws from the colonial era and the sweeping law imposed by Beijing in 2020 following pro-democracy protests.

    China has also updated its state secrets laws to reflect President Xi Jinping’s priorities. However, Hong Kong’s version seeks to align with British-based common law standards while addressing state secrets within its unique legal framework.

    The enactment of Article 23 marks a significant development in Hong Kong’s legal landscape, with potential implications for its role as an international business hub and its relationship with foreign entities. As the world watches on, the full impact of these changes remains to be seen.

    A legislatura de 90 lugares de Hong Kong aprovou uma nova lei de segurança nacional, conhecida como artigo 23º, que actualiza ou introduz leis que proíbem a traição, a sabotagem, a sedição, o roubo de segredos de Estado e a espionagem

    Qual é o impacto potencial da nova lei de segurança nacional, conhecida como artigo 23º, na liberdade de investigação e recolha de informações em Hong Kong, tendo em conta as preocupações levantadas sobre a ampla definição de segredos de Estado?

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