Chinese atrocities: Hong Kong police invokes security law to block website publishing details on 2019 anti-govt demonstrations
Hong Kong: The Hong Kong police have invoked the national security law for the first time to block a local website dedicated to publishing first-hand accounts of the anti-government protests in 2019 and the personal details of officers and pro-Beijing figures, showcasing the continuing atrocities carried out by officials in the city, media reports said.
Sources told South China Morning Post the force had started asking internet service providers (ISPs) to halt access to the HKChronicles website citing Article 43 of the law and its implementation rules. Officers can order ISPs to block access to electronic information deemed likely to constitute a crime endangering national security.
“The service providers could bear legal liability if they fail to comply,” a source told the newspaper.
The website has saved huge amounts of information, articles, photos and videos related to the social unrest, which erupted in June 2019 over a now-withdrawn extradition bill and later morphed into a wider anti-government movement, the newspaper said.
Its database covers first-hand accounts of alleged police brutality against demonstrators, the personal details of officers and pro-Beijing figures, as well as information on “yellow ribbon” protester-friendly businesses and “blue ribbon” ones that support police, the newspaper reported.
The website’s chief editor Naomi Chan told the newspaper: "After discussing and investigating with our supporters, we found that some ISPs in Hong Kong have deliberately dropped any connection to our servers, so that the user could not receive replies from our servers, resulting in an inability to access our content."
“Owing to the current evidence and signs, we believe that Hong Kong ISPs [have] attempted to block our website and prevent citizens from accessing our content, which could involve the government’s request or cooperation,” she said.
Police in Hong Kong on Wednesday detained over 50 high-profile anti-Beijing activists and politicians, including one US national, in early morning raids, media reported.
According to South China Morning Post, all former Democratic opposition lawmakers - who resigned in protest in November - were arrested along with high-profile political organizers who took part in last July’s primary runoff effort to elect anti-Beijing candidates to the Legislative Council.
Hong Kong has been a battleground between proponents of autonomy from Beijing and facilitators of Chinese influence in the special administrative region. Mass anti-Beijing protests erupted in June 2019 which plunged the prosperous city into chaos and saw activists take to increasingly violent methods of opposition.