Any legislation imposed on Hong Kong must “fully comply with China’s human rights obligations” and international treaties protecting civil and political freedoms, UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Friday.
Bachelet said that her office was closely following consideration in China’s National People’s Congress of a draft national security law for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
While the law is not available for review yet, Bachelet stressed that any legislation for HKSAR and its implementation must fully comply with China’s human rights obligations and respect the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as applied to Hong Kong.
Article 39 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR also provides that any restrictions on rights and freedoms shall not contravene these provisions.
The UN Human Rights Office, along with independent UN human rights experts, including the Committee against Torture, has previously expressed concerns that the national security law for mainland China does not comply with international human rights standards.
Bachelet, in a statement said: “Any law on national security should be clear in scope and definition, and only permit restrictions to human rights that are strictly necessary and proportionate. There should be meaningful legislative and judicial oversight of the implementation of such legislation. Such laws can never be used to criminalize conduct and expression that is protected under international human rights law.”
The UN Human Rights Office has “engaged” with the Chinese authorities on this matter and will continue to monitor the situation closely.