HONG KONG: The United States said on Thursday (Apr 29) it was “deeply concerned” by a new Hong Kong immigration law which includes powers to stop people leaving the city, raising fears Chinese mainland-style exit bans could be deployed there. The law was passed on Wednesday by a city legislature now devoid of opposition, as Beijing seeks to quash dissent and make the semi-autonomous city more like the authoritarian mainland following huge and often violent democracy protests. It grants the immigration chief powers to bar people from boarding planes to and from the city. READ: Hong Kong passes immigration Bill with ‘exit ban’ powers “We are aware of this legislation and share widespread concerns in Hong Kong about its content, potential uses, and lack of oversight or accountability,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday. “We have long standing concerns about the PRC’s arbitrary use of exit bans without due process of law, including against American citizens. We are deeply concerned by the prospect of Hong Kong authorities adopting similar arbitrary measures,” the spokesperson added. Hong Kong’s government says the law will not be applied to people leaving the city and is aimed at stopping illegal immigrants travelling… Read full this story
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