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Hong Kong immigration bill could allow arbitrary travel bans, warn activists

Mon, 26th Apr 2021 14:50

(Sharecast News) - Hong Kong is set to vote on a new immigration bill on Wednesday that would give authorities unlimited powers to exercise arbitrary travel bans, warned activists on Monday.
The government says the bill merely aims to screen illegal immigrants at source, amid a backlog of asylum applications, and does not affect movement rights.

According to Reuters, lawyers argue that authorities would have power to bar anyone without a court order from entering or leaving the area and does not prevent indefinite detention for refugees.

The regional government, after introducing a national security law in 2020, faces no official opposition as most prominent democratic politicians and activists are either in jail, charged under the security law or for other reasons, or in exile.

The Security Bureau said on Friday that the law would be applied only to inbound flights and target illegal immigrants, adding that the idea that the bill would deprive residents of travel rights was "complete nonsense".

It said some organisations "have been attempting to spread rumours in emotional and hostile rhetoric, misleading the public with ill intentions and creating conflict in society."

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