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Undermining Democracy at All Costs by a Totalitarian Regime

Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor

Hong Kong: 26 March 2004


Beijing announced today that it has started its interpretation of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress with a view to defeating the strong demand for democracy. This is another serious blow not only to the democratic developments in Hong Kong but also to the rule of law and its questionable autonomy.
"It is clear that the rule of law in Hong Kong can be undermined for political convenience," said Mr. LAW Yuk-kai, director of the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor. "If they cannot twist people's wish they will twist the law.  They rape the law in the name of upholding it. This is no rule of law and not even rule by law."
The rule of law in Hong Kong was established over decades of independent interpretation of the laws by a competent and independent judiciary without fear and favour, and independent of all political power. Legal interpretation is done in accordance with legal principles involving equal opportunities for the contending parties to argue for their case. Such interpretation is not for serving political ends. After all, laws, once enacted and short of any amendments, have their independent existence and cannot be varied at will.
"The coming interpretation, like the previous one in June 1999, goes against all the ABCs of the concept of the rule of law," said Law. "Beijing is burying Hong Kong's rule of law in killing Hong Kong people's hope for universal suffrage in the coming years."
It is a mockery of the promise of a high degree of autonomy.
Human Rights Monitor opposes strongly such an interpretation. We condemn those pro-Beijing figures who jumped to show their support to Beijing in this damaging move against the interests of Hong Kong and Chinese people and society. We call on the Hong Kong public to voice their opposition against the interpretation.

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