Beijing’s “Red Line” in Hong Kong
Huge numbers of people took to the streets of Hong Kong to demand their human rights during two large-scale protests, the Umbrella Movement in 2014 and the Extradition Bill protests in 2019. But the response to these protests has also demonstrated that the Hong Kong authorities are willing use aggressive policing and prosecution tactics to enforce China’s vague definition of national security, even when it violates international human rights laws and standards. Hong Kong authorities must stop using Beijing’s ever-changing “red line” as justification to restrict people’s rights. Authorities should respect, promote and protect these rights rather than encouraging an environment where censorship and self-censorship thrive.