Hong Kong, Aug 19 (ANI): The "draconian" national security law of Hong Kong is not a solution to the city's political crisis, according to outgoing European Union diplomat Carmen Cano adding who says she observed "growing fear and self-censorship" among Hongkongers.
"I never thought I would see such a different Hong Kong on my departure," Hong Kong Free Press quoted Carmen Cano, who took office in September 2016 as head of the European Union (EU) Office to Hong Kong and Macao after working in Beijing for almost a decade, as saying.
"It was about keeping their freedoms and liberties, which are in Hongkongers' DNA," she said.
"The national security law is not solving problems in Hong Kong society, what we see is fear... the political crisis which erupted last June could not be solved with just security measures. You need dialogue, you need to bring hope to the young people."
Beijing drafted and passed the legislation in June that targets acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments of up to life in prison for the most serious offences.
The move came after months of social upheaval triggered by opposition to a now-withdrawn extradition bill but that morphed into wider demands, including universal suffrage.
There has been widespread international criticism to China's recent actions in Hong Kong, including the implementation of a draconian National Security Law aimed at crushing dissent and which saw massive pro-democracy protests last year.
The legislation, which came into effect on July 1, punishes what Beijing terms secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference with up to life in prison. (ANI)