Commerce Secretary Edward Yau said that’s because at the end of the day, it’s up to law enforcement agencies to decide if action has to be taken.
A month ago, the government implemented new guidelines for film censors to ban any movies deemed to be supporting or glorifying acts that could endanger national security, saying the move was part of its duty under the Beijing-imposed legislation.
But Yau told a Legco panel meeting that authorisation from the censors to show a film in public doesn’t mean the filmmakers haven’t breached the security law.
“Any breaches of the security law would involve gathering evidence, and enforcement by other agencies,” he said.
“The filmmakers cannot claim that the film has received the go-ahead from the film censors as a defence against prosecution. Say, there is an activity in breach of the national security law, that’s still punishable under the national security law.”
Clement Leung, the permanent secretary for commerce and economic development, echoed Yau’s remarks, saying the censors are not tasked with enforcing the national security law.
But he said film censors, who are civil servants, will be given national security training, adding that they could also consult the Department of Justice for legal advice.