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Human Rights Watch slams banning of Hong Kong pro-independence party

The Hong Kong government’s decision to ban the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party is a grim sign for human rights in the territory, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said.

Hong Kong’s secretary for security told the party’s convenor that the party’s promotion of Hong Kong independence was a “blatant violation” of Hong Kong’s functional constitution.

The party’s alliance with pro-Tibet and pro-Taiwan independence groups also came under fire.

“Human rights in Hong Kong have been on the ropes in recent years, but this ban is a body blow to Hong Kong people’s ability to express their views, join with like-minded people, and run for office,” Sophie Richardson, China director for HRW said. “Authorities in Hong Kong should immediately reverse this small-minded decision that has far-reaching implications.”

“To ban a group of people exercising their basic rights sadly parallels what has long happened in the mainland,” Richardson said. “Authorities have no business banning political parties simply because they disagree with their peaceful views.”