Hong Kong’s national security law is finally here, and it could change the city forever
While officials had earlier suggested penalties under the law would be softer than they are in China, the maximum sentence given for each of those four main crimes — secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces — is life imprisonment.
Right to a trial by jury can be suspended in certain circumstances, cases can be heard in secret, and foreign residents in Hong Kong can be expelled if suspected of violating the law, regardless of conviction. The national security law trumps any existing Hong Kong laws, should there be a conflict.
The law also extends Beijing’s direct control over the city, establishing a new committee for national security that will include a Beijing-appointed adviser, and an “Office for Safeguarding National Security,” directly under the…