Life sentence for breaking Hong Kong security law

People in Hong Kong face the possibility of life behind bars for breaking a controversial new security law imposed by China.

The details of the law, which criminalises secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces, were published after it had come into force.

Critics say the new law effectively curtails protest and freedom of speech.

It was brought in by Beijing following increasing unrest and a widening pro-democracy movement.

Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, defended the law, saying it filled a “gaping hole” in national security. Earlier, the Beijing-backed politician admitted she had not seen the draft.

The UK, EU and Nato have all expressed concern and anger, while pro-democracy groups have started to disband.

What do we know about the law?

Full details of the new law only emerged after it had come into effect at about 23:00 local time on Tuesday (16:00 BST). They include that:

China also says it will take over prosecution in cases which are considered “very serious”, while some trials will be heard behind closed doors.

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