Hong Kong does not become a "police state," according to the police chief

A few days after the deployment of an impressive police device to prevent the commemoration of the Tiananmen crackdown, long tolerated by the city authorities, Police Chief Raymond Siu Chak-yee said on Tuesday that Hong Kong is not becoming a ” Police state ».

The former semi-autonomous territory is preparing to change its chief executive and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the return of the former British colony to China. Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to attend the double event on July 1. Asked by news site HK01 about strengthening the security device on the occasion of this day, Raymond Siu Chak-yee dismissed criticism that the police had become too powerful.

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According to him, “a police state is when the government forcibly controls various aspects of people’s lives through administrative measures and without going through legal procedures.” “Hong Kong is a state (where there is a rule of law) and it is not a police state,” he said.

Authorities opened a “hotline to fight terrorism” on Tuesday. Residents are being called to report “violent acts, activities suspected of being linked to terrorism, especially extremist conspiracies.” People will be paid for “reliable” information, they said.

Muzzled dissent

The remarks come after the arrest on June 4 of six people for alleged attempts to publicly commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Amnesty International has accused city officials of being “harassed” in the “indiscriminate” arrests.

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Police closed Victoria Park, a traditional place to commemorate the bloody events of June 4, 1989, and deployed a major device in the nearby shopping district. People were searched because they were holding flowers in their hands, wearing black or even, in one case, a tank-shaped toy.

Since Beijing imposed a drastic national security law in Hong Kong in 2020 after huge and often violent pro-democracy demonstrations, the authorities have muzzled any dissent. In a daily interview South China Morning PostRaymond Siu Chak-yee “advised” residents not to watch or download Revolution of our timea feature-length documentary on the 2019 events. It has recently been available on the US streaming platform Vimeo.

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