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SCA: "Human Rights Watch" ignores facts

Following is the transcript (English portion) of a standup briefing given by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in response to the "Human Rights Watch" report on Hong Kong at Central Government Offices this morning (September 9):

SCA: The report of "Human Rights Watch" has ignored two basic facts in Hong Kong. Firstly, Hong Kong is one of the freest societies in Asia. Secondly, our democratic system has continued to make progress since reunification in 1997.

The report has referred to a few incidents of concern, and we have taken measures to address these concerns. For example, we would not allow anybody to take photographs within our polling stations. The confidentiality of all votes cast is protected by law and this is the best protection for our democratic system.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Thursday, September 9, 2004