Official silent on subversion report

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 March, 1998, 12:00am

A senior official refused to disclose yesterday whether the drafting of laws against subversion would be included in human rights reports to be submitted to the United Nations in August.

The topics of the reports - on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights - are open to public consultation until April 15.

Subjects suggested in the report on civil and political rights include amendments to the Bill of Rights; the call for a Human Rights Commission; right of abode of mainland-born children of Hong Kong people; the amended Public Order and Societies ordinances; the 1998 Legislative Council election and review of the two-tier government structure.

The reports will be submitted by the Chief Executive's Office to the SAR office of the Chinese Foreign Ministry which will pass them on to the UN.

Secretary for Home Affairs David Lan Hong-tsung said it was not known when the UN would hold a hearing but officials would attend to present the report.

He did not know whether the central Government would amend it.

'I have not heard of any message that it wants to amend the report,' he said.

Not every comment would be included in the report, he said.

'However, if the views are reasonable and good comments with which we do not agree, we will still take them into account,' he said.

Mr Lan said it was too early to say whether the drafting of laws to prevent subversive acts, required by Article 23 of Basic Law and to be dealt with by the first legislature, would be included.

Tung Chee-hwa said in Frankfurt that the consultation on the law would be sincere. 'I'm saying it as honestly and sincerely as I can,' he said.

Human Rights Monitor director Law Yuk-kai urged the inclusion of the legislation on subversion.

'They should reveal in the report how are they going to deal with it as it relates to whether freedom of speech is enjoyed,' he said.