Hong Kong, July 1 (ANI): Hours after China passed the controversial national security law, the Hong Kong government has started attacking the freedom of speech and expression as for the first time the July 1 annual pro-democracy march has been banned.

Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters have pledged to protest the security law in spite of a police ban.

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To prevent disruption of ceremonies planned for the July 1 anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, the Hong Kong Police have banned the annual pro-democracy march that has been taking place for the past 17 years citing possible violence during previous rallies and coronavirus pandemic, Hong Kong Free Press reported.

On Tuesday, the Chinese Parliament passed national security legislation for Hong Kong while ignoring the worldwide outcry and protest in the semi-autonomous city against the law.

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Meanwhile, the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) has appealed the ban in court. "We wish to bring a message of solidarity by collaborating with various councillors from different camps. Citizens must come out on July 1," CHRF convener Figo Chan was quoted as saying during a press conference.

He also said that pro-democracy lawmakers Eddie Chu, Wu Chi-wai, and several activists will organise a protest if the ban is upheld.

The march will take place on July 1 at 2 pm from East Point Road in Causeway Bay to Chater Road in Central following a government Establishment Day ceremony and flag-raising event at 8 am. (ANI)

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