April 24, 2016 (South China Morning Post), Op-ed by Cliff Buddle —
The unexpected emergence of a small but vocal independence movement in Hong Kong has sparked much consternation and condemnation. Some critics have gone further than merely expressing disapproval, calling for legal action to be taken against the young activists concerned. There have even been suggestions that new national security laws should be passed, in accordance with Article 23 of the Basic Law, to remove any doubt that publicly expressing pro-independence views is a crime.
There is, indeed, a need to revisit issues raised during the Article 23 debate 14 years ago, but with a different objective. Rather than seeking to criminalise mere expressions of opinion, we should be reforming and modernising our outdated colonial-era sedition laws. These laws are crying out for amendment, to bring them in line with developments elsewhere in the world and to ensure that free expression is protected.