US Imposes Visa Restrictions on Chinese and Hong Kong Officials Following Guilty Verdicts in National Security Law Trial

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WASHINGTON, May 31 (Reuters) – The United States has announced new visa restrictions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials in response to guilty verdicts in the National Security Law trial of pro-democracy organizers in Hong Kong, the State Department revealed on Friday.

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Fourteen pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong were found guilty on Thursday in a significant subversion trial, while two were acquitted. Critics argue that this trial threatens the city’s rule of law and its status as a global financial hub.

“The United States is deeply concerned by the guilty verdicts announced in the National Security Law trial of pro-democracy organizers in Hong Kong,” said State Department spokesman Matthew Miller. “The defendants were subjected to a politically motivated prosecution and jailed simply for peacefully participating in political activities protected under the Basic Law of Hong Kong.”

In response to these verdicts, the US will impose new visa restrictions on the Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for enforcing the security law, Miller stated.

This trial, the largest against the democratic opposition in Hong Kong, comes over three years after police arrested 47 democrats in dawn raids. They were charged with conspiracy to commit subversion under the national security law imposed by China.

The U.S. has urged Chinese and Hong Kong authorities to cease using “vague national security laws to curb peaceful dissent,” Miller added.

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