More than a thousand individuals and organisations have signed a petition urging the government to speed up the legislation of a gender recognition ordinance after the death of a transgender woman earlier this month. As of Monday, the petition had 1,008 co-signers, including LGBTQ non-governmental organisations Rainbow of Hong Kong, the Association of Transgender Rights, and BigLove Alliance. Political parties such as Demosisto, the League of Social Democrats, and the Progressive Lawyers Group have also signed.
Legal experts have raised concerns over Beijing’s interpretation of Hong Kong’s mini-constitution amid the oath row in the legislature, arguing that it damaged Hong Kong’s rule of law and potentially violated human rights. The remarks came after the Court of First Instance unseated four elected lawmakers last Fridayfor failing to take their oaths properly at LegCo last October.
The slow-motion disaster that is Oathgate has now spread from the pro-independence firebrands to the mainstream pro-democracy camp. After the High Court disqualified localist lawmakers Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung nearly nine months ago, four more members of the Legislative Council (Legco) lost their jobs last Friday. Nathan Law, “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, Lau Siu-lai and Edward Yiu had all strayed from the prescribed oath during the swearing-in ceremony. According to the supreme decisionhanded down by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) in November, that minor infraction was enough for all of them to each get a pink slip.
(Foreign Policy) As Hong Kong prepared to mark the 20th anniversary of its handover to Chinese sovereignty, the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party sent instructions to supporters planning to attend a rally: bring masks both for anonymity and as protection against tear gas, encrypt your electronic devices, and carry a telephone number for legal assistance in case of arrest. The spur for this was the Hong Kong authorities’ prohibition of the rally on the grounds that it violated the territory’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, which has been in effect since 1997 when Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty. The group had issued this precautionary list with the intention of defying the ban, but it backed down after police threatened the organizer with detention for illegal assembly, despite the fact that he was the sole attendee.