Epoch Times, February 26, Hong Kong ---

The "National Security Statute Draft" for the legislation of Article 23 of the "Basic Law" was submitted this afternoon to the Legislative Council for first and second readings, and has already passed. A statute draft council will be established to discuss the details. More than 20 council members from the Democratic Party, the Civil Human Rights Front, and the Employee Union left the meeting before the first reading to show their opposition. They burned a mockup of the Blue Bill (the current stage in the legislative process for Article 23) in the parking lot outside the Legislative Council building.

The legislative council members who left the meeting hall told reporters that they would vote against the legislation. They also called upon the public to cooperate with the democratic groups and urge the government to abolish the draft, or at least remove unreasonable items.

During the first reading, five members from "Four-Five Action" including "Long Hair" Leong Guoxiong who sat at the public seat in the legislative council hall, shouted loudly to oppose the enactment of Article 23 and requested to immediately withdraw the Blue Bill. Their protest interrupted the meeting for a while. Security guards forcibly removed the five of them, and each paid 500 Hong Kong dollars in bail to allow them to be free until a court hearing scheduled for two months from now.

Burning the Blue Bill Copy

Before Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, secretary of the Hong Kong Security Bureau submitted the draft to the legislative council for first and second readings, more than 20 council members from democratic groups held up a banner requesting an immediate withdrawal of the Blue Bill for Article 23 and left the meeting hall as a group. At the same time, five members of "Four-Five Action" sitting at the public seat also shouted loudly "Oppose the legislation of Article 23!" and "Withdraw the Blue Bill!" They also threw flyers and torn paper from the public viewing area on the 3rd floor into the meeting hall downstairs. A large group of security guards instantly went up to stop them and dragged two people away.

"Long Hair" Leong Guoxiong loudly protested the legislation of Article 23 and spread flyers and torn paper to protest the government's submission of the National Security Statute Draft. Security guards dragged him away.

Chen Jingsheng: The Evil Law Ruins Hong Kong's Image and Its Democracy and Freedom

President of the Hong Kong Bar Association, Mr. Chen Jingsheng, said that while the legislation proceeds, the Bar Association will continue to study each item and submit their opinions to the legislative council and the government. However, he did not consider it an easy prospect to convince the legislative council to modify the Blue Bill. He felt that if the Blue Bill is passed by the legislative council, citizens have to live by it. However, it will damage Hong Kong's image and its democracy and freedom.