For the first time ever, Hong Kong police have proposed banning a political party in the name of “national security”. Yesterday, Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chui said he was giving the Hong Kong Nationalist Party 21 days to submit a written explanation on why he should not agree to the police recommendation.
Lee said the ban would not affect Hong Kong’s treasured civil liberties and freedom of association. “We have freedom of association, but that right is not without restriction,” he claimed. In a 30-minute press conference the minister refused to explain what the party had done to make the police want to ban it. “I will not comment on individual cases ... but one principle is important: that is any person or any society in Hong Kong must act within the law.”