December 18, 2002

Security Bureau

6th Floor, East Wing

Central Government Office

Lower Albert Road

Central Hong Kong

Attention: Mrs. Regina Ip, AS(F)2, F Division

Dear Mrs. Ip:

Re: Article 23

On behalf of the 46,000 members of the HEU, I am writing in opposition to the "Article 23" legislation being proposed by the Hong Kong government.

This controversial new law appears to have been written under direct pressure from Mainland China. It is far more restrictive and severe than required by the Basic Law, and could be used to force Hong Kong to ban any organization determined by China to be a national security risk.

As you know, China severely restricts its media, bans membership in trade and many organizations such as the Falun Gong, and would likely use Article 23 to extend similar prohibitions to the citizens of Hong Kong. These intrusions into Hong Kong's political autonomy violate the "one country, two systems" principle and basic democratic rights and freedoms.

We strongly urge your government to significantly amend Article 23 to prevent Hong Kong's civil liberties, in particular its autonomy in determining the legal status of organizations in Hong Kong; the freedom of press; the freedom of association and expression; and the freedom of assembly.

Yours sincerely,

Fred Muzin


Cc: Provincial Executive