Hong Kongers march in silent protest against national security laws

Hong Kongers march in silent protest against national security laws

Police officers stand guard as people gather during a rally in Hong Kong Jun 28,  2020
Police officers stand guard as people gather during a pro-democracy rally supporting human rights and to protest against Beijing's national security law in Hong Kong, on Jun 28, 2020. (Photo: AP/Vincent Yu)

HONG KONG: Hundreds of Hong Kongers marched silently through the city's streets on Sunday (Jun 28) in protest against the looming national security legislation to be implemented by the mainland Chinese government.

Riot police armed with shields were present as the crowd moved from Jordan to Mong Kok in the Kowloon district, as part of a "silent protest", in which they marched but the usual chanting or slogan shouting was mainly absent.

On Sunday, delegates at a meeting of the National People's Congress Standing Committee reviewed the draft of the law, the official Xinhua news agency said.

However, it did not give any details of the Bill's latest contents.

The discussion means the committee is expected adopt the law, which is being fast-tracked, in the next few days.

China's parliament endorsed the planned legislation last month, sending the draft to the Standing Committee for discussion and revision.​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​Xinhua said earlier this month that China will set up a "national security agency" in Hong Kong, and that the new law will override any existing Hong Kong laws that may conflict with it.​​​​​​​

READ: China unveils details of national security law for Hong Kong amid backlash

"I am here to oppose the national security laws," said Esther, 25 who was on the streets of Jordan on Sunday.

"It's not the last battle, there is a long term resistance (to the laws)."

The event came a day after Hong Kong police refused permission for an annual march that is held on Jul 1 to mark the handover of the city from Britain to Chinese authorities 23 years ago.

Police cited in a statement that a march would be in violation of Hong Kong's current ban of groups of more than 50 people gathering which was put in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

A survey conducted by the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute for Reuters showed that the national security legislation is opposed by a majority of people in the financial centre.

READ: US imposes visa restrictions on Chinese officials over Hong Kong autonomy

It also showed support for protests dropping to 51 per cent from 58 per cent in June compared to a previous poll conducted for Reuters in March, while opposition to them rose to 34 per cent from 28 per cent.

Source: Reuters/AFP/ga