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The Hong Kong government has been exercising more control over activists since the annual July first democracy parade. Their latest target is the Falun Gong spiritual group. Hong Kong's government says Falun Gong practitioners they have to remove banners from the street, many of which have been there for 10 years to raise awareness of the persecution in the Mainland. Some Hong Kong legislators say this shows the increasing influence of the Communist Party in Hong Kong.
Yet now Hong Kong’s government is telling Falun Gong they have to take the banners down. They say it’s to ensure smooth traffic flow, running of local elections and the appearance of the city. Yet many Hong Kong legislators feel it shows the increasing influence of the Chinese regime in Hong Kong.
A regular advocate of free speech and democracy, Legislator Leung Kwok-hung says the request for Falun Gong to remove the banners is an attack on all Hong Kong residents.
[Leung Kwok-hung, HK Legislator]:
“Today this is not only aimed at Falun Gong… actually it is a violation of our entire democratic society.”
Rights activists say that since the July 1st democracy parade on through to the visit of Chinese Communist Party official Li Keqiang in late August, the Hong Kong government has been cracking down on activists and the media.
[Leung Yiu-chung, HK Legislator]:
“Today the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government has already become a puppet of the central government, whatever the central government wants it to do it does. If it’s suppression it suppresses, it has completely lost its independent autonomy.”
Law Yuk-kai says there is no legal justification for the government’s demands.
Law Yuk-kai calls on citizens to be on their guard, as human rights in Hong Kong have deteriorated.