A march has been scheduled to take place on Sunday, September 6, in Kowloon to protest against the National Security Law (NSL) in the country. Previous related demonstrations on August 31 resulted in scuffles between police forces and protesters and led to at least 14 arrests.
A heightened security presence is expected at the demonstration site and the march is expected to be well attended. Further protests are likely throughout the territory over the near term and clashes between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out
Demonstrations have been held throughout Hong Kong since June 2019 to protest a controversial extradition bill, which would have allowed authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. While the bill was withdrawn in September, mass protests continue to be organized to demand government reforms and police accountability over violence since the start of the demonstrations.
After a break in protests due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, demonstrations have increased in frequency since the relaxation of COVID-19 measures in late April. There has also been an uptick in protest activity since Beijing introduced the controversial new security law in June 2020. Under the new legislation, individuals can be arrested for being directly or indirectly involved in secession, subversion, terrorist activities, or collusion with a foreign country or other external elements that could endanger national security. The maximum sentence for violating the law is life imprisonment. A new Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government will also be set up in Hong Kong to assist in dealing with national security issues. Under certain conditions, the new Office will be allowed to prosecute individuals under mainland Chinese law. The postponed September 6 legislative election would have been the first since the introduction of the security law.
Those in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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