A previous pro-democracy legislator in Hong Kong says individuals there have actually become “distressed” and “disillusioned” as some fear the city has lost essential freedoms.Widespread pro-democracy protests that rocked Hong Kong in 2019 have actually mostly decreased, in part due to the break out of Covid-19 and the enactment of a questionable nationwide security law last year.Emily Lau, a former Democratic Party member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, stated some Hong Kongers now fear that “we most likely have actually lost our flexibility of expression, flexibility of assembly, liberty of presentation possibly not forever, however for numerous, several years.””And thats how distressed and how disappointed the Hong Kong individuals are,” Lau told CNBCs Martin Soong on Tuesday.Read more about Hong KongBeijing bypassed Hong Kongs legislature to carry out a national security law last year. Last month, China authorized sweeping changes to Hong Kongs electoral system that critics stated would keep back pro-democracy politicians.Those moves followed months of pro-democracy protests in 2019 that in some cases turned violent. Chinese and Hong Kong authorities have said the modifications would secure nationwide security and stop anti-China motion in the semi-autonomous region.Freedoms and rightsHong Kong is a former British colony that was returned to Chinese rule in 1997. The Sino-British Joint Declaration signed prior to Hong Kongs return mentioned that the city would have “a high degree of autonomy,” consisting of legal and independent judicial power.”Freedoms and rights, including those of the person, of speech, of journalism, of assembly, of association, of travel, of movement, of correspondence, of strike, of option of occupation, of academic research and of religion will be guaranteed by law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,” the declaration said.But critics of China– who include pro-democracy activists and federal governments such as those in the U.S. and the U.K.– have accused China of weakening Hong Kongs autonomy.Dozens of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have been arrested and charged under the national security law. Lau said: “I refuse to allow myself to be daunted into silence.””We want China to keep the guarantees of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law,” she stated, adding that she and other activists are not looking for to overthrow the Hong Kong federal government or the main government in Beijing.The Basic Law is Hong Kongs mini constitution that enshrines the principle of “one nation, two systems” utilized to govern the city.Beijing, on its part, has actually said that the nationwide security law and electoral changes in Hong Kong remain in line with the “one country, 2 systems” framework.

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