Hundreds of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters on Saturday rallied against the government’s attempt to ban a political party، saying it dealt the most serious threat to the city’s freedom of association since its return to Chinese rule.
Organizers said 1،200 protested، while the police estimated 600 attended at the peak.
The city’s security chief said on Tuesday the police had advised him to ban the Hong Kong National Party، which openly promotes the city’s secession from China. The chief، John Lee، has not officially banned the group yet، saying he could not do so before it has a chance to explain itself. He said Hong Kong still has freedom of association، as enshrined in its mini-constitution known as the Basic Law، but “that right is not without restriction.”
But the developments mark the first time since Hong Kong’s handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997 that the government has moved to outlaw a political organization.