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Jurassic yet perditious

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THE TRIAL balloon idea to revive again the Anti-Subversion Law should be seen as part of the worn-out mailed-fist approach to dissent and divergence of beliefs.

It is an excavation of a Jurassic idea which has the effect of curtailing freedom of association and political beliefs which are in fact crucial ingredients for democracy to flourish.

This draconian measure, together with a menu of other repressive laws and policies, and on top of vicious red-tagging of individuals and groups, is essentially antidemocratic even if packaged for purportedly salutary ends.

Such legislation, long abandoned as being anachronistic, ineffective, and oft-abused as a tool of political persecution and harassment, can be challenged at the appropriate time based on many constitutional grounds.

In the meantime, if not nipped in the bud, dissenters, fiscalizers, critics, activists, and the opposition that up until this time are still giving the narrowing democratic space a chance will have to endure this Damocles sword hanging over their heads, preparatory perhaps to a political guillotine to silence them and make everybody unthinking androids all.

(Statement of the National Union of People’s Lawyers on the proposed Revival of Anti-Subversion Law, dated Aug. 13, 2019)

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