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Notice given 13 August 2003

*528  Senator Stott Despoja: To move—That the Senate—

(a) expresses its concern that the rights and liberties of the people of Hong Kong are threatened by the proposed Article 23 legislation being considered by Hong Kong’s Legislative Council;

(b) notes that:

(i) the proposed legislation will introduce powers similar to those which operate in the People’s Republic of China to restrict freedom of expression and religion, and to imprison religious leaders, journalists, academics and labour activists,

(ii) the People’s Republic of China previously pledged to respect Hong Kong’s Basic Law of 1990, which protects many of the rights and freedoms threatened by the Article 23 legislation, and

(iii) those members of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council who have been elected by universal suffrage oppose the Article 23 legislation but are unable to prevent its enactment because the People’s Republic of China either directly or indirectly controls a majority of votes in the Legislative Council;

(c) welcomes the improvements to the Article 23 legislation announced by the Hong Kong Government on 3 June 2003; and

(d) urges the Hong Kong Government to further amend the legislation to ensure that it can not be used to silence opposition, restrict freedom of speech, of the press and of publication, freedom of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration, the right and freedom to join trade unions and to strike, and the right to engage in academic research, literary and artistic creation and other cultural activities, in accordance with Articles 27 and 34 of the Basic Law.

On 20 August 2003

Business of the Senate—Notice of Motion