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Hong Kong Government forced to shelf Article 23

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[Hong Kong, September 4, 2003] Due to enormous resistance from the public, the Hong Kong authorities reluctantly announced a delay in installing the so-called anti-subversive bill, Article 23, a move seen here as being very political with a parliamentary election nearing in less than six months. Article 23, if enacted, will curb the basic human rights enjoyed thus far by citizens of Hong Kong. The banned activities by democracy activists, the Falun Gong spiritual movement, underground Christians, and labor leaders in Mainland China would also be prohibited in Hong Kong.

Despite pressure from Beijing to enact this bill, the hand-picked Hong Kong leaders are concerned that doing so would cause the general parliamentary election results to favor the democratic party. Even pro-Beijing groups seek to amend some provisions in Article 23 in an attempt to not deviate themselves too far from the mainstream population.

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