With the controversial new law that China passed in Hong Kong, citizens could face life sentences for failure to comply with the legislation.
Back to the mainland
According to BBC, the law came into effect on Tuesday, and its full details were disclosed several hours later. The Chinese capital led the legislation amid the rising tensions and continuous protests calling for democracy.
Critics, however, claim the new law will effectively restrict demonstrations and allegedly threatens Hong Kong's political freedom.
The area of Hong Kong was previously given back to China in 1997 from British control but with a new agreement that allowed certain freedoms for the city's residents that mainland China citizens did not have.
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's political leader, supported the legislation and expressed her support by saying it answered a need the city has had in national security.
The details of the law had been firmly guarded, and Lam, backed by Beijing, revealed she had not seen the draft of the legislation before her comments.
An opposition legislator, Ted Hui, said that the rights of citizens in Hong Kong were threatened, and their freedom is taken away. Hui noted the law undermines their rule of law and removes their judicial independence.
Multiple nations, including the UK, EU, and Nato, have openly expressed their criticism and disapproval of the legislation while democracy rights groups began dispersing in fear of immediate consequences.
Washington, who also requested Beijing to reconsider the move, has started to cut special treatment of Hong Kong with trade and international travel with the United States, giving it the same as mainland China.
Fighting the change
Several protests have started within Hong Kong on the first day of the legislation's passing that Beijing introduced and came after China announced that it would be possible to be extradited to the mainland if found guilty, as reported by The Guardian.
The demonstrations called for the revival of Hong Kong and to fight against the black police, referencing the corruption that led to the legislation. One Twitter user reported that police officers dragged Lee Cheuk Yan, a veteran pro-democracy lawmaker, down from a podium and also pepper-sprayed several dozens of journalists present at the scene.
On Twitter, police officials reported their first arrest since the placement of the law of a man who was reportedly carrying a Hong Kong Independence flag within the protest, which according to the officials, is a violation of the new legislation.
On Monday, on the other hand, local media reported that police officials confirmed the arrest of at least 53 people amid the mostly peaceful demonstrations calling out against the new law, as reported by Aljazeera.
A Hong Kong delegate, Ip Kwok-him, does not believe the punishment for going against the law is not three or ten years in jail. The claim comes as Ip reviewed a draft of the law on Sunday.
The official added that the punishment for failure to comply with national security laws include life sentences and noted it would also be possible for the Hong Kong legislation to impose the same. He also added that the bill's punishments could be applied retroactively.
More than a year had passed since the beginning of protests in Hong Kong when Beijing attempted to pass a bill that would have sent the city's residents to mainland China for trial.
The demonstrations have evolved to incorporate broader democratic views. They have become increasingly violent, indicating the most significant dispute to Beijing's authority since the return of the territory to China's rule in 1997.