BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) protects, not prejudices, human rights, a senior Chinese law expert noted.
(File photo: CFP)
The national security law for the HKSAR clearly stipulates that human rights shall be respected and protected, and, while safeguarding national security, it takes full account of the protection of human rights as well as the legitimate rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people, said Han Dayuan, a member of the HKSAR Basic Law Committee of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.
Han, also a law professor of the Renmin University of China, took a swipe at the view that puts national security and human rights at opposite poles.
"Such points of view are either out of an intention to distort the facts for ideological purposes, or due to a lack of proper understanding of the law," Han said. "It is hard to imagine that a country or society can protect its people's freedom when its security is endangered."
Han further noted that as different countries have different conditions and contexts, they face different national security situations, and thus will have different approaches in handling relevant issues.
Whatever the case may be, it is necessary to exert some regulations on individuals' freedom for national security as long as such regulations are reasonable and proportionate, Han said, noting that this is particularly important when national security is under substantial threat.
"The turbulence in Hong Kong over the last year taught us a lesson. When national security is not effectively safeguarded, Hong Kong residents' life and property, as well as their rights and freedoms under the Basic Law and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as applied to Hong Kong, can not be protected," said Han.
The purpose of enacting the national security law for the HKSAR was to safeguard the legal order in the region, maintain Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, and protect its residents' legitimate rights, he continued.
Han called for further explanation and publicity of the law's text in plain language for Hong Kong residents to fully understand the core substance of the law, as well as further education on patriotism to raise awareness of national security and law, especially among teachers and students.
Highlighting the implementation of the law, he also suggested continuous efforts to find the balance between security and freedom via specific circumstances to safeguard both national security and human rights through judicial practice, which will set more and more Hong Kong residents' minds at rest.