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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hong Kong Tightens

HONG KONG () -- Hong Kong on Friday laid down guidelines empowering police to ban protests and drew criticism from rights groups for freezing labor laws.

The administration granted police wide discretionary powers to ban protests or political groups on "national security" grounds.

It issued guidelines defining national security and allowing the police chief to ban gatherings if they threaten China's security, promote independence for Tibet or Taiwan, or cause public disturbance.

Police can also ask the government's security chief to cancel the registration of a society on grounds of national security.

The guidelines expand on laws enacted by the territory's China-appointed legislature hours after London returned this former British colony of 156 years to Beijing on July 1.