This undated photo shows the Central Government Offices at Tamar, Hong Kong. (PHOTO/HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government firmly rejected on Tuesday the misleading remarks, under the guise of religious freedom, in the so-called 2022 Report on International Religious Freedom issued by the United States.
In a statement, the government said it strongly disapproved of the political smears contained in the so-called report with regard to the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong and other situations in the HKSAR.
An HKSAR govt spokesman emphasized that Hong Kong residents enjoy their rights and freedoms, including religious freedom and the freedom of speech, under the Basic Law, the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and other relevant laws
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"The HKSAR government strongly disapproves of and firmly rejects the US' attempt, through the so-called annual report once again, to smear and attack the HKSAR in its dutiful, faithful and lawful implementation of the NSL using the name of religious freedom to disguise its despicable political motives,” an HKSAR government spokesman was quoted as saying in the statement.
“Law enforcement actions taken by HKSAR law enforcement agencies have all along been based on evidence, strictly according to the law and for the acts of the individuals or organizations concerned, and have nothing to do with their political stance, background or religion."
The spokesman said that since the implementation of the NSL, livelihood and economic activities in Hong Kong have returned to normal, and the business environment "has been restored.”
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“Nonetheless, the US' so-called annual report has once again turned a blind eye to such reality and blatantly spread misleading and unfounded remarks relating to the NSL. The US' sinister intentions have again been clearly exposed," he said.
The spokesman emphasized that Hong Kong residents enjoy their rights and freedoms, including religious freedom and the freedom of speech, under the Basic Law, the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and other relevant laws.
He noted that the NSL clearly stipulates that human rights shall be respected and protected in safeguarding national security in the HKSAR.
"The HKSAR government steadfastly safeguards national sovereignty, security and development interests, and upholds the authority of the NSL,” the spokesman said.
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“The HKSAR government strongly urges the US to immediately stop acting against the international law and basic norms of international relations and interfering in Hong Kong matters, which are purely China's internal affairs," he added.