A few days after China passed a controversial security law for Hong Kong, books by prominent civil rights activists can no longer be borrowed from Hong Kong's libraries. If one tries online to ask works of young activist Joshua Wong or politician Tanya Chan from the libraries, they will be shown as unavailable or shown in the review.

As Chinese media reports, this affects at least nine books. They cite Hong Kong's cultural authorities saying that books have been removed to see if they violate the law.

"The national security law (...) imposes censorship on the mainland like this international financial center," tweeted Wong. His books are now also "susceptible to censorship". In a column for the world on Sunday , he also warned everyone about the consequences of the new law: "If you have ever said anything that might have angered the authorities in Hong Kong or China, for example, if you have sympathy or sympathy for Tibetans, Uyghurs , Taiwanese or Hong Kong people, or participated in support demonstrations, you better not come to Hong Kong, "he wrote.

No changes to the law planned

The contents of the security law had only been released on Wednesday night. At the same time, the law came into force. It targets activities that the Beijing government regards as subversive, separatist, or terrorist. It is also said to punish "secret agreements" between activists and forces abroad.

Civil rights activists and foreign governments have accused the Beijing leadership of trying to suppress the security law. The law is the Chinese government's most extensive intervention so far in the autonomy of the special administrative region. Critics fear an end to the "one country, two systems" principle that the former British crown colony has been governed under Chinese sovereignty since its return in 1997.  

The Hong Kong and Beijing governments reject the allegations. MP Tam Yiu-chung said there are no plans to amend the law for the time being. Changes could be made after a year, but there are currently no plans to do so. Tam Yiu-chung is the only Hong Kong MP on the Standing Committee of the Chinese People's Congress who unanimously approved the law despite global criticism.