The Hong Kong political party which has been in the news a lot for calling for independence has officially been banned on grounds of national security by the government – a first in the city’s history.
The decision by Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu came 10 days after the Hong Kong National Party submitted its case to argue why it should not be outlawed.
“In exercise of the power conferred on the Secretary for Security by Section 8(2) of the Societies Ordinance, I hereby order that the operation or continued operation of the Hong Kong National Party in Hong Kong to be prohibited,” a notice under Lee’s name that was gazetted by the government on Monday stated.
The order would take effect on publication, it added.
Police had recommended in July that the party be banned under the ordinance for posing an “imminent threat to national security”. The force accused the organisation of making comprehensive plans and taking concrete steps to realise Hong Kong independence.
Section 8 of the ordinance allows the security minister to prohibit a “society” from operating if he reasonably believes it is warranted.
Lee initially gave the party 21 days to offer a written representation before making a decision, then gave it three extensions until September 14.
HKNP convenor Andy Chan Ho-tin said he would not comment on the ban for now.