Hong Kong Prosecutors Play a Key Role in Carrying Out Political Prosecutions

July 12, 2022

SUMMARY (PDF)

The Hong Kong government’s hardline approach to dissent and pro-democracy views, and the growing number of political prisoners, raises serious concerns about the erosion of the rule of law in the city. A stable legal system, the free flow of news and information, and guaranteed rights protections have undergirded Hong Kong’s economic and cultural vitality and were critical to both business confidence and U.S.-Hong Kong relations.

If Hong Kong’s prosecutors are allowed to exercise the discretion given them under the city’s Prosecution Code, the number of political prosecutions and arbitrary detentions could dramatically decrease, as at least 10,500 people were arrested for political and protest-related activity. However, the growing number of political prisoners in Hong Kong and the role of the Justice Department and prosecutors in expanding arbitrary detention may require actions from the United States and the international community to address the erosion of the rule of law and human rights, including additional sanctions authorized by the Hong Kong Autonomy Act and the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

  1. Background

Hong Kong’s Basic Law provides that “[t]he Department of Justice . . . shall control criminal prosecutions, free from any interference.”[1] Within the department, the prosecutorial function is discharged by the Prosecutions Division and the National Security Prosecution Division.[2] The latter was created in June 2020 by Article 18 of the National Security Law (NSL),[3] but its operations and staffing have remained opaque, as the government has refused to disclose relevant details.[4] Public reporting shows that cases involving national security and those arising from the pro-democracy protests in 2019 primarily have been handled by prosecutors in the Prosecutions Division’s Special Duties team, which was set up in mid-April 2020, two months before enactment of the NSL.[5] 

In December 2021, Director of Public Prosecutions Maggie Yang Mei-kei, who heads the Prosecutions Division, issued a yearly review in which she acknowledged that some prosecutions carried out by her division were “politically sensitive” but maintained that her team adhered to prosecutorial independence as required by the Basic Law and the Prosecution Code.[6] The yearly review, however, made no mention of prosecutions involving alleged national security,[7] which observers have described as political persecution.[8]

                                               

The increasingly apparent political motivation behind the department’s actions had provoked some internal dissent, but such voices have not been heard since 2019, possibly due to retaliation. During the 2019 protests, a group of prosecutors questioned the integrity of their leadership anonymously in an open letter, saying that the then-Secretary of Justice and Director of Public Prosecutions placed political considerations above the Prosecution Code when they decided to charge 44 protesters with rioting the day after police arrested them at a protest against police brutality.[9] Another prosecutor also wrote to the leadership criticizing the Hong Kong government’s handling of the protests, but he was later suspended and faced further possible disciplinary action.[10]

Since June 2019, the Department of Justice has prosecuted at least 2,944 individuals on NSL and protest-related charges,[11] some of which infringed on the universal human rights of a wide range of people including protesters, journalists, civil society workers, and opposition political figures. The Commission has identified the Hong Kong government prosecutors responsible for some of these cases:

  1. The Prosecutors
  1. Maggie YANG Mei-kei[12] is Director of Public Prosecution, the head of the Prosecution Division.[13] Yang was promoted in August 2021 from her post as head of the Special Duties team two weeks after she reportedly made a trip to Beijing with the Secretary of Justice.[14]
    • Yang was the lead prosecutor in the case involving 47 pro-democracy activists who were arrested for organizing or participating in the informal primary election in July 2020 ahead of the scheduled Legislative Council election.[15] In March 2021, she sought to deny bail for the detainees and appealed 11 of the 15 cases in which the detainees were granted bail.[16]
  2. Anthony CHAU Tin-hang[17] is acting Deputy Director of Public Prosecution of the Special Duties team.[18]
    • Chau prosecuted protesters Leon Tong Ying-kit and Adam Ma Chun-man and secured convictions against them on charges including “inciting secession” for displaying or chanting slogans such as “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Times.”[19] Ma’s case in particular, as one that involved only speech,[20] represents a setback for free speech protection in Hong Kong and a departure from the government’s previous deference to the Johannesburg Principles, which limits government restrictions on speech and access to information on national security grounds.[21]
  3. Laura NG Shuk-kuen[22] is acting Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions for the Special Duties team.[23]
    • Ng oversaw the prosecution of seven editors and executives of the now-defunct pro-democracy online publication Stand News on the charge of “conspiracy to publish seditious content.”[24] While the offense is not criminalized in the NSL, the case is being heard by a judge designated to hear NSL cases.[25]
    • She also is responsible for prosecuting five trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund that provided assistance to arrested protesters,[26] and five speech therapists who authored children’s books deemed to convey anti-government messages.[27]
  4. William SIU Kai-yip[28] is acting Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions for the Special Duties team.[29]
    • Siu is one of two prosecutors who handled the “unauthorized assembly” case against 26 pro-democracy activists—including Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, Lee Cheuk-yan, Albert Ho Chun-yan, Chow Hang-tung, and Joshua Wong Chi-fung—for participating in a June 2020 vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen protests.[30]
  5. Andy LO Tin-wai[31] is acting Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions for the Special Duties team.[32]
    • Lo is responsible for prosecuting four senior editors and executives of the now-defunct pro-democracy news outlet Apple Daily on the charge of “collusion with a foreign country” in conspiracy with Apple Daily’s founder Jimmy Lai and others, alleging that they had asked foreign countries to impose sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese officials.[33] The NSL case against Jimmy Lai is being prosecuted by Ivan Cheung Cheuk Kan.[34] British lawyer David Perry, whom the Department of Justice instructed to prosecute Jimmy Lai and eight others on a separate “unauthorized assembly” offense, withdrew from the case.[35] A former policy advisor welcomed the move, saying, “British barristers should not become part of the repressive apparatus of President Xi’s dictatorship.”[36]
  6. Ivan CHEUNG Cheuk-kan[37] is acting Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions for the Special Duties team.[38]
    • Besides the above-mentioned NSL case against Jimmy Lai, Cheung is responsible for prosecuting student activist Tony Chung Hon-lam on the charges of “secession” and “money laundering.”[39] With respect to the latter charge, reports did not indicate that it was supported by wrongdoing independent of Chung’s activism.[40]

The Commission also observed that other prosecutors (who are not or cannot be confirmed to be part of the Special Duties team) have handled political cases in varying degrees of involvement. They include—Alice CHAN Shook-man,[41] Crystal CHAN Wing-sum,[42] Cherry CHONG Man-yan,[43] Derek LAI Kim-wah,[44] Wilson LAM Yi Yeung,[45] Edward LAU Wan-cheung,[46] Vincent LEE Ting-wai,[47] Karen NG Ka-yuet,[48] and Jennifer TSUI Sin-chi.[49]

  1. U.S. Policy Options

Under U.S. law, foreign persons who violate human rights or undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy may be subject to sanctions. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 obligates the President to deny entry to the United States and block assets of foreign persons identified as being responsible for human rights violations including arbitrary detention.[50] While “arbitrary detention” is not defined in the law, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention considers a detention arbitrary if, for instance, it is used to suppress the exercise of universal human rights or is applied in a discriminatory manner based on a person’s political opinions.[51] The Hong Kong Autonomy Act of 2020, which was enacted shortly after the NSL, similarly provides for sanctions on foreign persons who have “materially contribute[d] to the failure of the Government of China to meet its obligations under the Joint Declaration or the Basic Law,” obligations that guarantee that Hong Kong “will enjoy a high degree of autonomy.”[52]

Based on these legal authorities and Executive Order 13936, the Department of the Treasury in August 2020 imposed sanctions on 11 individuals “for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and restricting the freedom of expression or assembly of the citizens of Hong Kong.”[53] Among them is then-Secretary of Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, whom the U.S. Government sanctioned for “being responsible or involved in developing, adopting, or implementing the National Security Law.”[54]

On July 1, 2022, Paul LAM Ting-kwok took office as the new Secretary of Justice.[55] Lam expressed that he was not concerned about being sanctioned,[56] and Reuters reported that he “is widely expected to continue to oversee the tough prosecutorial approach of his predecessor, Teresa Cheng, against opposition figures, activists and protesters.”[57] But prosecutors within the department are free to make decisions for themselves, as the Prosecution Code specifically grants them prosecutorial discretion, stating that they “shall not be bound to prosecute an accused person in any case in which [they] may be of [the] opinion that the interests of public justice do not require their interference.”[58]  

 

[1] Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, passed April 4, 1990, effective July 1, 1997, art. 63, https://perma.cc/A72L-S2JX.

[2] Department of Justice, Hong Kong SAR Government, “About Us; Organisation,” accessed July 1, 2022, https://perma.cc/Y98Q-Z8AU.

[3] Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Xianggang Tebie Xingzhengqu Weihu Guojia Anquan Fa [Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region], passed and effective June 30, 2020, art. 18, https://perma.cc/U6SH-VDHT.

[4] “Luzhengsi Guo’an Jiankongke fuzeren chengmi jugongkai renshou bianzhi xiaoxi zhi neibu choudiao renshou zucheng chuan jiechu tuixiu gaoceng huichao” [Head of the National Security Prosecution Division of the Department of Justice is still unknown, refuses to disclose staffing, information indicates that it is formed by internally transferring staff, retired high-ranking official rumored to return], Stand News, reprinted in collection.news, February 10, 2021, https://perma.cc/KMZ8-9D5X.

[5] Selina Cheng, “Hong Kong Justice Dep’t Denies ‘Political Prosecutions,’ Omits Mention of National Security in Annual Report,” Hong Kong Free Press, December 23, 2021, https://perma.cc/P4PY-MRR7.

[6] Prosecutions Division, Department of Justice, Hong Kong SAR Government, “Prosecutions Hong Kong 2020,” December 22, 2021, 7, https://perma.cc/2GAL-B7WQ. See also, Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, passed April 4, 1990, effective July 1, 1997, art. 63, https://perma.cc/A72L-S2JX; Department of Justice, Hong Kong SAR Government, “Prosecution Code,” accessed July 1, 2022, sec. 1.1, https://perma.cc/Y94H-NC25.

[7] Prosecutions Division, Department of Justice, Hong Kong SAR Government, “Prosecutions Hong Kong 2020,” December 22, 2021, 7, https://perma.cc/2GAL-B7WQ; Selina Cheng, “Hong Kong Justice Dep’t Denies ‘Political Prosecutions,’ Omits Mention of National Security in Annual Report,” Hong Kong Free Press, December 23, 2021, https://perma.cc/P4PY-MRR7.

[8] See, e.g., Michael Martin, Center for Strategic and International Studies, “Hong Kong in 2022,” February 2, 2022, https://perma.cc/E2K9-87J4; “Hong Kong: Drop Charges Against Vigil Organizers,” Human Rights Watch, September 16, 2021, https://perma.cc/P3GW-HEAT; Safeguard Defenders, “EU Toughens Stance on China,” June 28, 2022, https://perma.cc/9DDB-42BZ.

[9] Kris Cheng, “Hong Kong Gov’t Lawyers Slam ‘Kowtowing’ Justice Chief Following Decision to Prosecute 44 Protesters for Rioting,” Hong Kong Free Press, updated March 31, 2020, https://perma.cc/86MM-G4EH.

[10] Chris Lau, “Head of Local Prosecutors’ Group Urges Hong Kong Justice Minister Teresa Cheng to Advise Police about ‘Reliability and Honesty’, Leaked Email Shows,” South China Morning Post, September 2, 2019, https://perma.cc/3ZP3-ZGVL; Lin Li, “Ganyan jiankong zhuren Huang Huafen zao tingzhi chuan miandui jilu chengxu” [Outspoken prosecution director William Wong suspended, rumored to face disciplinary proceedings], Citizen News, updated March 17, 2021, https://perma.cc/5T69-AXXK.

[11] Kong Tsung-gan, “Arrests and Trials of Hong Kong Protesters and Opposition Leaders,” Medium, February 16, 2022, https://perma.cc/WUP8-8XZJ.

[12] Chinese name in traditional characters: 楊美琪.

[13] “Maggie Yang Mei-kei Appointed as Head of Prosecution,” Standard, August 13, 2021, https://perma.cc/J42K-MALY.

[14] “Maggie Yang Mei-kei Appointed as Head of Prosecution,” Standard, August 13, 2021, https://perma.cc/J42K-MALY; “Luzhengsi lililuan xingshi jiankong zhuanyuan weiyou renxuan Yang Meiqi huo wei chuli sangeyue” [Department of Justice is a mess; Maggie Yang appointed in acting capacity for three month as there are no candidates for the Director of Public Prosecution position], On.cc, July 2, 2021, https://perma.cc/C8RL-KVBU; Chris Lau, “Hong Kong Prosecutor Leading National Security Law Case against 47 Opposition Figures Takes Key Justice Department Role,” South China Morning Post, August 13, 2021.

[15] Michael Shum, “Court Battle Drags on for 47 Activists, Politicians,” Standard, March 3, 2021, https://perma.cc/VS88-ECU2; Chris Lau and Brian Wong, “Hong Kong National Security Law: Defence Slams ‘Draconian’ Case against 47 Opposition Figures—but Proceedings Halted after Defendant Faints,” South China Morning Post, March 1, 2021.

[16] Chris Lau and Brian Wong, “Hong Kong National Security Law: Defence Slams ‘Draconian’ Case against 47 Opposition Figures – but Proceedings Halted after Defendant Faints,” South China Morning Post, March 1, 2021; Chris Lau, “National Security Law: Surprise U-turn as Hong Kong Prosecutors Drop Challenge to Four Defendants Receiving Bail in Case Involving 47 Accused Opposition Activists,” South China Morning Post, March 5, 2021.

[17] Chinese name in traditional characters: 周天行.

[18] Hong Kong SAR Government, “Government Telephone Directory,” accessed June 24, 2022, https://perma.cc/X5ZE-3GA7.

[19] HKSAR v Tong Ying Kit, (2021) Court of First Instance 2200, para. 134-144, 171, https://perma.cc/JJP5-6TTZ; Brian Wong, “Hong Kong’s First National Security Law Prosecution for Pro-Independence Chanting Launches at West Kowloon Court,” South China Morning Post, November 24, 2020; Kelly Ho, “Security Law: Nearly 6 Years Jail for Hongkonger Who ‘Incited Secession’ with Pro-Independence Chants and Slogans,” Hong Kong Free Press, November 11, 2021, https://perma.cc/EN3Y-764E.

[20] Kelly Ho, “Security Law: Nearly 6 Years Jail for Hongkonger Who ‘Incited Secession’ with Pro-Independence Chants and Slogans,” Hong Kong Free Press, November 11, 2021, https://perma.cc/EN3Y-764E.

[21] Department of Justice, Hong Kong SAR Government, "Speech by the Secretary for Justice, Ms Elsie Leung, in a motion debate on Article 23 of the Basic Law, in the Legislative Council on Thursday, 12 December 2002," accessed July 6, 2022, https://perma.cc/7RB7-44XX; Department of Justice, Hong Kong SAR Government, "Speech by Solicitor General," accessed July 6, 2022, https://perma.cc/FAS9-E3HP; Eric Yan-ho Lai, Thomas E. Kellogg, “NSL Verdict a Major Blow to Free Speech in Hong Kong,” Lawfare (blog), November 19, 2021, https://perma.cc/9YUZ-TCNN.

[22] Chinese name in traditional characters: 伍淑娟.

[23] Hong Kong SAR Government, “Government Telephone Directory,” accessed June 24, 2022, https://perma.cc/U868-DFY3.

[24] “‘Lichang Xinwen’ chuanmou fabu shandong kanwu an chuanjie zhi Quyu Fating chuli jiang yu 5 yue chu tixun” [The case against “Stand New” on the charge of conspiracy to publish seditious content has been transferred to the District Court, Hearing will be held in early May], Radio Free Asia, April 13, 2022, https://perma.cc/7SJM-VVFG; Jane Cheung, “Bail Rejected for Top Pair of Stand News,” The Standard, December 31, 2021, https://perma.cc/JU2T-N8J5; Jessie Pang and Edmond Ng, “Hong Kong’s Citizen News Says Closure Triggered by Stand News Collapse,” Reuters, January 3, 2022, https://perma.cc/Z7R9-55K5.

[25] Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 200), sec. 10, https://perma.cc/Q7NL-P9D9; “‘Lichang Xinwen’ chuanmou fabu shandong kanwu an chuanjie zhi Quyu Fating chuli jiang yu 5 yue chu tixun” [The case against “Stand New” on the charge of conspiracy to publish seditious content has been transferred to the District Court, Hearing will be held in early May], Radio Free Asia, April 13, 2022, https://perma.cc/A2EM-3SEA.

[26] “Trustees of 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund to Go on Trial September 19,” Standard, May 24, 2022, https://perma.cc/7CRV-EZTC. 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, “612 Humanitarian Relief Fund” (web page), accessed June 3, 2022, https://perma.cc/4FJK-8XJY.

[27] Brian Wong and Clifford Lo, “National Security Law: Hong Kong Children’s Books Trio Remanded in Custody after Being Charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Seditious Material,” South China Morning Post, August 30, 2021.

[28] Chinese name in traditional characters: 蕭啟業.

[29] Hong Kong SAR Government, “Government Telephone Directory,” accessed June 24, 2022, https://perma.cc/BD42-UJJM.

[30] Chen Jiayi, “Liusi jihui an 20 beigao jin 9 ren wei bei shouya faguan toulu He Xiulan Yang Shen jiang renzui” [In the case of June 4 assembly, only 9 defendants out of 20 have not been detained; judge reveals that Cyd Ho and Yeung Sum will plea guilty], Hong Kong 01, June 29, 2021, https://perma.cc/T5TW-KMKM; Ge Ting, “Weiyuan feifa jijie an 12 zhenggun renzui xiazhou san panxing” [In the case of unauthorized assembly in Victoria Park, 12 crooked politicians pleaded guilty, will be sentenced next week], Wen Wei Po, September 10, 2021, https://perma.cc/Q6Y4-DHN3.

[31] Chinese name in traditional characters: 羅天瑋.

[32] Hong Kong SAR Government, “Government Telephone Directory,” accessed June 24, 2022, https://perma.cc/W7YT-SXJE.

[33] “Qian ‘Pingguo Ribao’ 4 gaoceng kong chuanmou goujie baoshi bei ju yahou 9 yue 30 ri xun [duanpian]” [Four former senior officers of “Apple Daily” accused of conspiracy to collude, bail denied, case adjourned to September 30 [short footage]], Ming Pao, July 22, 2021, https://perma.cc/6ZNB-2X3D; Shibani Mahtani, “Hong Kong Media Tycoon Jimmy Lai Arrested under National Security Law,” Washington Post, August 10, 2020, https://perma.cc/6MDX-56MG.

[34] “Li Zhiying she goujie waiguo shili wei Guo’an Fa zhuanjie Gaoyuan shen xu huanya” [Lai Chee-ying suspected of colluding with foreign forces in violation of the National Security Law; Lai remanded and case transferred to the High Court], Ming Pao, June 15, 2021, https://perma.cc/Q4AL-CH5H.

[35] Helen Davidson and Patrick Wintour, “David Perry QC Quits Prosecution of Hong Kong Activists,” Guardian, January 20, 2021, https://perma.cc/87NC-UBE5.

[36] Helen Davidson and Patrick Wintour, “David Perry QC Quits Prosecution of Hong Kong Activists,” Guardian, January 20, 2021, https://perma.cc/87NC-UBE5.

[37] Chinese name in traditional characters: 張卓勤.

[38] Hong Kong SAR Government, “Government Telephone Directory,” accessed June 24, 2022, https://perma.cc/W8LP-UF2N.

[39] Brian Wong, “National Security Law: Student Activist Who Advocated Hong Kong Independence Jailed for 43 Months,” South China Morning Post, November 23, 2021; Jessie Pang, "Former Leader of Hong Kong Pro-Independence Group Found Guilty of Secession," Reuters, November 3, 2021, https://perma.cc/2J6F-G9QM.

[40] Brian Wong, “National Security Law: Student Activist Who Advocated Hong Kong Independence Jailed for 43 Months,” South China Morning Post, November 23, 2021; Song Ren, “Guo’an Fa fawei, qian Gangdu zuzhi zhaojiren Zhong Hanlin beipan ruyu 43 ge yue” [National Security Law shows its might, former Hong Kong independence group Chung Hon-lam sentenced to 43 months in prison], Voice of America, November 23, 2021, https://perma.cc/8T6G-JV98.

[41] Chinese name in traditional characters: 陳淑文. Huang Jianlang, “[Pilu jingsi shoucha] Kongfang zhi Lin Zhuoting ti ‘You Naiqiang’ yi fanfa bianfang pi jiedu huangmiu zhiwei jin zixun fabu” [[Investigated for exposing superintendent of police] Prosecution alleges that Lam Cheuk-ting broke the law by mentioning “Yau Nai-keung”; defense says ridiculous interpretation is intended to stop dissemination of information], Citizen News, March 12, 2021, https://perma.cc/79FL-9BDM.

[42] Chinese name in traditional characters: 陳穎琛. Wallis Wang, “Monday Skirmish Set for Lai Bail Hearing,” Standard, January 29, 2021, https://perma.cc/3497-N5MU.

[43] Chinese name in traditional characters: 莊文欣. “She guli paishou liangpang tingshi fouren shandong wenzizui 9 yue kaishen pindao guanliyuan buman kongfang jianji pianduan chengtang” [Suspected of encouraging to clap, audience denies inciting to commit speech crime, trial to begin in September; channel administrator displeased with prosecution’s use of edited footage as evidence], inmediahk.net, May 31, 2022, https://perma.cc/N9FN-UNT7.

[44] Chinese name in traditional characters: 黎劍華. “Liang Guoxiong she qiang wenjian an zhongji baisu hou weichi burenzui: yiyuan wuzui, kangzheng qizui mingnian 1 yue chongshen” [In the case involving Leung Kwok-hung being suspected of grabbing documents, he maintains innocence after ultimately losing: councilor is innocent, protest charge, retrial in January next year], inmediahk.net, November 26, 2021, https://perma.cc/NV6C-8PXQ.

[45] Chinese name in traditional characters: 林宜養. “Zhongyuan caiding ‘gongtong fanzui’ yuanze bushiyong dan guli huo xiezhuzhe ke shiwei ‘chongfan’ chengchu” [Court of Final Appeals rules that “joint enterprise” principle inapplicable, but people who encourage or assist others may be deemed “an accessory” for imposing punishment], inmediahk.net, November 4, 2021, https://perma.cc/PD62-3MDE.

[46] Chinese name in traditional characters: 劉允祥. Brian Wong, “Hong Kong Opposition Activist Joshua Wong Among Group Facing Five Years in Jail over Banned June 4 Vigil after Guilty Pleas,” South China Morning Post, February 5, 2021.

[47] Chinese name in traditional characters: 李庭偉. Brian Wong, “National Security Law: Bail Denied for Hong Kong Schoolgirl and 6 Others Charged with Subversion under Beijing-Imposed Legislation,” South China Morning Post, September 29, 2021.

[48] Chinese name in traditional characters: 吳加悅. Jasmine Siu, “Hong Kong Protests: Opposition Activists Plead Guilty to Incitement over Unauthorised March, Which They Claim More Than 350,000 People Attended,” South China Morning Post, August 19, 2021.

[49] Chinese name in traditional characters: 徐倩姿. “Trustees of 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund to Go on Trial September 19,” Standard, May 24, 2022, https://perma.cc/7CRV-EZTC.

[50] Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, Public Law 116-76, sec. 7(a), (b), (c).

[51] UN Human Rights Council, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at its 78th session, (19–27 April 2017), A/HRC/WGAD/2017/5, July 28, 2017, paras. 3(b), (e), https://perma.cc/S523-RGXV.

[52] Hong Kong Autonomy Act, Public Law 116-149, secs. 3(4), 5(a), 6(b).

[53] U.S. Department of Treasury, “Treasury Sanctions Individuals for Undermining Hong Kong’s Autonomy,” August 7, 2020, https://perma.cc/25FU-F4RC.

[54] U.S. Department of Treasury, “Treasury Sanctions Individuals for Undermining Hong Kong’s Autonomy,” August 7, 2020, https://perma.cc/25FU-F4RC.

[55] Chris Lau, "Xi Jinping’s Remarks on Preserving Common Law System and Independent Judiciary, but Some Lawyers Express Doubts," South China Morning Post, July 1, 2022. See also “Guowuyuan renming Xianggang Tebie Xingzhengqu diliu jie zhengfu zhuyao guanyuan” [State Council appoints principal officials for the sixth term of the Hong Kong Special Administration Government], Xinhua, June 19, 2022, https://perma.cc/Z5K2-ZFV6; Hong Kong SAR Government, “Principal Officials of Sixth-term HKSAR Government appointed (with photos),” June 19, 2022, https://perma.cc/T9VX-3PBT.

[56] Tang Huiyun, “Beijing renming xin yijie Xianggang Tequ zhuyao guanyuan 4 ren wuguan chushen shou Meiguo zhicai huo yingxiang guoji guanxi” [Beijing appoints principal officials for a new term of the Hong Kong SAR, 4 of them have law enforcement background and have been sanctioned by the US; it may affect international relationship], Voice of America, June 21, 2022, https://perma.cc/V38N-TYS8.

[57] “Factbox: Hong Kong’s New Cabinet to Focus on National Security,” Reuters, June 20, 2022, https://perma.cc/QXK6-MGB7.

[58] Department of Justice, Hong Kong SAR Government, “Prosecution Code,” accessed July 5, 2022, secs. 5.1, 5.2, https://perma.cc/Y94H-NC25. The cited language is from Section 15(1) of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance and applies to the Secretary of Justice. The Prosecution Code cites this provision and expands its application to the Director of Public Prosecutions and to prosecutors acting on behalf of the Secretary for Justice.