Riot police stop peaceful protest in Hong Kong against national security law

Hong Kong riot police on June 28 stopped a protest where pro-democracy protestors had vowed to walk silently from Jordan to Mong Kok to demonstrate against impending Hong Kong security law.
The police closed down pedestrian access to the Gascoigne Road and Nathan Road junction. Earlier, police raised a blue warning flag at the intersection of Nathan Road and Dundas Street in Mong Kok, warning crowds that they could be seen as participating in an unlawful assembly.
A day before, Hong Kong police banned a major demonstration against China’s planned national security law for the city citing coronavirus social distancing measures and previous unrest.
The proposed national security law has raised concerns among Hong Kong democracy activists and some foreign governments that Beijing is further eroding the extensive autonomy promised when Britain handed the territory back to China in 1997.
The security legislation, criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign powers. People convicted of such crimes can face sentences of up to life in prison.
Under the law, activities such as damaging public transport and public services “in order to pursue political agenda” can be considered terrorism — a provision that appears to target protesters who last year disrupted traffic and the city’s infrastructure.
It also authorizes Chinese central government to establish its own law enforcement presence in Hong Kong, labeled the “Office for Safeguarding National Security.”
A national security committee for Hong Kong will also be established, comprised of Hong Kong government officials and an adviser appointed by the Chinese central government. The group’s workings “shall not be disclosed to the public,” and “decisions by the committee shall not be amenable to judicial review,” reads the legislation.
The move has also sparked international condemnation with the British government saying that it would offer a path to citizenship for eligible Hong Kong residents as the new law is a threat to the city’s freedom.
However, both Hong Kong’s leadership and the central government say the bill would not affect the legitimate rights of the residents. Beijing maintains that the unrest in Hong Kong is a result of international interference.