- Title: Heavy security as China opens national security office in Hong Kong
- Date: 8th July 2020
- Summary: HONG KONG, CHINA (JULY 8, 2020) (REUTERS) POLICE PRESENCE NEAR THE NEW NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICE IN HONG KONG, LOCATED IN HONG KONG'S METROPARK HOTEL VARIOUS OF CEREMONY ONGOING BEHIND WATER BARRIERS POLICE CORDON CEREMONY ONGOING VARIOUS OF CARS ARRIVING FOR THE SECURITY AND ENTERING PAST POLICE CORDON CEREMONY ONGOING POLICE VANS PARKED NEAR THE LOCATION OF THE CEREMONY POLICE OFFICER ON DUTY CEREMONY ONGOING NATIONAL EMBLEM OF CHINA PLACED IN FRONT OF THE ENTRANCE TO THE METROPARK HOTEL VARIOUS OF CHINESE FLAG FLYING OUTSIDE THE HOTEL VARIOUS OF POLICE OFFICERS ON DUTY MEDIA PEDESTRIAN WALKING IN THE STREETS NEAR THE NEW OFFICE FRUIT STALL (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) 28-YEAR-OLD AIRPLANE MECHANIC, REX TO, SAYING: "My view is that there has been no notice (of the new office). They didn't notify the public and then blocked the road. All of a sudden there is so much going on I suddenly see on the news that a flag is raised, the road is closed, and so many (officials) are out on the streets. So I don't think it's that great." PEDESTRIAN WALKING FRUIT STALL (SOUNDBITE) (English) 62-YEAR-OLD INTERIOR DESIGNER, JOHN LEE, SAYING: "I support that (national) security ordinance. But they have to let the citizens be informed earlier. Everything that they have organized (is) quite secret, and we didn't know anything." VARIOUS OF STREETS NEAR THE NEW OFFICE
- Embargoed: 22nd July 2020 04:00
- Keywords: Beijing China Hong Kong Human rights National Security Law National security Protests Riots
- Location: HONG KONG, CHINA
- City: HONG KONG, CHINA
- Country: Hong Kong
- Topics: Fundamental Rights/Civil Liberties,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001CLY6C07
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A special office to oversee national security in Hong Kong officially commenced operations on Wednesday (July 8) amidst heavy security.
The Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government, charged with overseeing implementation of the controversial new national security law for Hong Kong, held a ceremony in the early hours of the morning. The new law punishes crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison, heralding a more authoritarian era for China's freest city. There was a heavy police presence outside the Metropark Hotel in Hong Kong, which will serve as the temporary headquarters of the new office. Police had erected water barriers and put in place crowd control measures overnight, restricting residents and foreign media from observing the ceremony.
Residents in the area expressed surprise about the rapid speed of opening in the new office, and the apparent lack of advance notice to the community.
"Everything that they have organized is quite secret", said one resident, a 62-year-old interior designer giving his name as John Lee. "They have to let the citizens be informed earlier."
The Metropark Hotel in Causeway Bay is located opposite Victoria Park, home of the annual candlelight rallies in memory of China's bloody 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy crackdown.
(Production: Aleksander Solum)
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