Hong Kong said on Tuesday new film censorship legislation will be introduced to “safeguard national security”, in another sign of shrinking freedoms in the former British colony.
China introduced a sweeping national security law in June last year to crack down on what it deems subversion, secessionism, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, following months of sometimes violent pro-democracy protests in 2019.
The new “film censorship” amendment bill will help enhance the regulatory framework, the government said in a statement, with a view to “ensuring more effective fulfilment of the duty to safeguard national security”.
“The main reference is the national security law … for instances, acts or activities which might endorse, support, glorify, encourage and incite such activities that might endanger national security,” Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s commerce secretary, told reporters.
Hong Kong’s number two official, the chief secretary, will also be empowered to revoke a film’s licence if found to be “contrary to the interests of national security”.
Those who violate the law could sentenced to three years imprisonment and fined HK$1 million ($128,400).
The bill will be put to the city’s Legislative Council next Wednesday.