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Democracy activists’ books unavailable in Hong Kong libraries after new law

Books by distinguished Hong Kong pro-democracy figures have develop into unavailable within the Chinese-ruled metropolis’s public libraries as they’re being reviewed to see whether or not they violate a brand new nationwide safety regulation, a authorities division mentioned on Sunday.

The sweeping laws, which got here into drive on Tuesday evening on the similar time its contents had been printed, punishes crimes associated to secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with international forces, with punishments of as much as life in jail.

Hong Kong public libraries “will review whether certain books violate the stipulations of the National Security Law,” the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which runs the libraries, mentioned in a press release.

“While legal advice will be sought in the process of the review, the books will not be available for borrowing and reference in libraries.”

A seek for books by younger activist Joshua Wong or pro-democracy politician Tanya Chan on the general public libraries web site confirmed the books, together with “Unfree Speech,” co-authored by Wong, both unavailable or below overview.

“The national security law … imposes a mainland-style censorship regime upon this international financial city,” Wong tweeted on Saturday, including his titles “are now prone to book censorship.”

The national-security laws has been criticised by pro-democracy activists, attorneys and international governments who concern it might be used to stifle dissent and undermine freedoms the previous British colony was promised when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

The day after the regulation got here into impact, one man was arrested for carrying a Hong Kong independence flag.

On Friday, the native authorities declared the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” unlawful. And a person who had pushed a motorbike into law enforcement officials throughout a protest and carried a flag with that message was charged with terrorism and inciting secessionism.

Local and Beijing officers have repeatedly mentioned the laws wouldn’t curb freedom of speech or the media, nor another rights within the metropolis. The new regulation, they mentioned, solely targets a number of “troublemakers.”

It is unclear what number of books are below overview. Two titles by Chinese Nobel Peace Prize-winning political dissident Liu Xiaobo had been nonetheless out there, in line with the web search.

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