Minister for the Indo-Pacific issued the following statement on the guilty verdict of the ‘NSL 47’ in Hong Kong.

Today, the High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region delivered its verdict for 16 of the 47 activists and former politicians known as the ‘NSL 47’. The 47 were charged under the Beijing-imposed National Security Law (NSL) for their alleged participation in a conspiracy to subvert state power. 14 were today found guilty and 2 found not guilty. The 14 found guilty will be sentenced at a later date. The remaining 31 pleaded guilty to the charge and await sentencing.

Commenting on the outcome, Minister for the Indo-Pacific, Rt Hon. Anne Marie Trevelyan said:

This case is a clear demonstration of the way that the Hong Kong authorities have used the Beijing-imposed National Security Law (NSL) to stifle opposition and criminalise political dissent. The NSL 47 are guilty of nothing more than seeking to exercise their right to freedom of speech, of assembly and of political participation, as guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and promised in the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Today’s verdict will only further tarnish Hong Kong’s international reputation. It sends a message that Hong Kongers can no longer safely and meaningfully participate in peaceful political debate.  

We call on the Hong Kong authorities to end NSL prosecutions and release all individuals charged under it.

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Published 30 May 2024