(Clearwisdom.net) HONG KONG, May 29 - A delegation led by pro-democracy lawmaker Martin Lee will visit Washington and New York next week to lobby against the Hong Kong government's move to implement anti-subversion laws, the group said Thursday.

The delegation, representing the legal community, media, labor unions and human rights organizations, will meet US officials and other groups to rally support against the controversial security laws from June 2 to 6.

"No doubt, the government will say we are badmouthing Hong Kong," said Lee, an outspoken critic of chief executive Tung Chee-hwa.

However, told reporters, "this is not the case, because Article 23 is a bad law."

Under Article 23 of the Basic Law, the territory's mini-constitution, Hong Kong is obliged to pass legislation banning treason, sedition, subversion and the theft of state secrets.

However, human rights and pro-democracy groups fear China could use the new law to suppress freedoms including those of the media, speech and religion.

Tung has been heavily criticized by pro-democracy lawmakers for mismanaging the territory since he took charge in 1997.

Legislators have pointed to many failed policies and most recently the government's slow response to tackling the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak.


The government is hoping to have the anti-subversion laws on the statute books by July.

[...] Lee insisted the laws would mean "a few of our freedoms will be infringed, particularly, freedom of association and press."

The bill went before Hong Kong's Legislative Council on February 26 in a watered down form following protests during a three-month consultation period.

The proposed laws have proved deeply divisive in Hong Kong, prompting big demonstrations in December both for and against the legislation.