Should we stay, or should we go? Hong Kong residents grapple with life in a changed city

The one year anniversary of Hong Kong’s national security law is approaching, and in 12 months it has already changed the city, reports William Yang

Monday 14 June 2021 18:42
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<p>A supporter holds a poster of pro-democracy figures on trial under the new national security law</p>

A supporter holds a poster of pro-democracy figures on trial under the new national security law

Gavin Mok never expected that the time for him and his family to leave Hong Kong would come so soon, but last July, the situation in his hometown deteriorated so quickly he could no longer find a reason to stay.

Almost a year ago, the Chinese government passed its national security law (NSL), which makes it easier to punish protesters and also reduces the city’s autonomy. Penalties have been increased – up to life imprisonment for “crimes of subversion” – and some serious cases can now be tried in mainland China.

Critics say the legislation curtails democratic freedoms, whereas China views it as reintroducing stability.

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