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Thursday, December 22, 2016, 21:20

Govt submits amendment bill to anti-terrorism law

By Carrie Qiu

Govt submits amendment bill to anti-terrorism law
Police officers arrive to help process a crime scene in Hong Kong on Oct 2, 2016. ( ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP)

HONG KONG - The government submitted an amendment bill to the current anti-terrorism law in order to ban local residents from leaving Hong Kong or entering foreign countries for terrorist activities.

The bill to amend the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance follows the United Nation Security Council’s resolution 2178 in fighting against terrorism, along with the central government’s instructions.

The amendment bill will be discussed in the LegCo Security Panel meeting on Jan 3, 2017

The UN Security Council passed resolution 2178 in September 2014. This obliges all members to prevent global terrorists by outlawing any involvement in the financing, planning, preparation or commission of terrorist acts as serious criminal offenses. In October 2014, in accordance with Articles 13 and 48(8) of the Basic Law, Beijing gave instructions to the Hong Kong SAR to implement the resolution.

The proposal, submitted to the Legislative Council Panel on Security by the Security Bureau, bans any resident in the SAR or Hong Kong permanent resident anywhere in the world from leaving the city or entering foreign countries for the purpose of terrorism.

It prohibits local corporations and organizations from directly or indirectly organizing, facilitating, recruiting and financing individuals to travel to other nations for involvement in terrorism activities.

It also bans any individuals in Hong Kong, Hong Kong permanent residents outside the SAR and local corporations and organizations from dealing with property owned or controlled by terrorists or terrorist associates.

The amendment bill submitted would move the current implementation of anti-terrorism measures in Hong Kong one step ahead.

According to the current law, the government is only entitled to issue a “freezing notice” when terrorism-related properties are detected. The multi-step procedure unfortunately allows terrorists the time to transfer property, the government explained.

The amendment bill will be discussed in the LegCo Security Panel meeting on Jan 3, 2017. The Security Bureau plans to hand in the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance (Amendment) Bill next year.

In 2015, the top national legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, passed China’s first anti-terrorism law. This aimed to improve intelligence gathering and enhance international cooperation in counter-terrorism missions.

carrieqiu@chinadailyhk.com

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