Under current law, any unlawful assembly can be deemed a riot if anyone taking part in it commits a “breach of the peace.” The Progressive Lawyers Group, which advocates for the rule of law and democracy in Hong Kong, has noted that this “is a very low threshold which is not commensurate with the heavy penalty it imposes.” Similarly, the Hong Kong Universal Periodic Review Coalition, an alliance of local civil society groups that delivers human rights status reports to the UN, has pointed out that prosecutors have wide discretion to define an act as a riot.
Progressive Lawyers Group Convenor Jason Y. Ng spoke to CBS on the protests against the extradition bill in Hong Kong. He said that a foreigner without doing anything unlawful may be extradited because China may make up evidence.
“It is the fundamental reason people are protesting in the first place,” said Antony Dapiran, who wrote a book on protest culture in Hong Kong. “They don’t trust Beijing, they don’t trust their authorities and the legal system, and they don’t like the blurring of lines between Beijing and Hong Kong.”
PLG Convenor Jason Y. Ng is quoted in Denmark's Weekendavisen in respect of the protests against the extradition bill.
Prominent commercial lawyer Kevin Yam said he was aware of high net-worth Hong Kong figures taking steps to move assets to Singapore as they matured or market conditions proved favourable.
The Progressive Lawyers Group explains the current law does not allow mainland China to extradite suspects from Hong Kong, but once the amendments are made, anyone who is considered a suspect by mainland China can be sent to the Chinese court, regardless of nationality, as soon as they set foot in Hong Kong.
法政匯思、杏林覺醒、高教公民等近 20 個傘後團體，今天在 Change.org 發起全球聯署，要求美國、英國和加拿大政府引用該國的《全球馬格尼茨基法》或相關法例，向強推《逃犯條例》修訂和暴力鎮壓和平示威的香港政府官員和親共立法會議員實施個人制裁，全面凍結這些官員、議員及其直系親屬的資產，並禁止他們入境美英加三國。
When mass protests ended in violent clashes Wednesday, older residents took to recalling the Tiananmen Square killings of 1989 in Beijing as they condemned Hong Kong’s government and its police force, which pointed guns at the youths of the semiautonomous Chinese territory.
With surgical masks and goggles balanced on their faces, Hong Kongers Jay and Elise Lee take a moment to rest in an underpass near the city’s Legislative Council, its parliamentary equivalent.
Again, as in 2014, today’s protesters were primarily youths, clad in black t-shirts and chanting “Cit Wui!” (“Withdraw!”). Drawing on their experience from the Umbrella Movement, protesters quickly equipped themselves with protective gear – face masks, goggles, hard-hats – in anticipation of police batons, capsicum spray, or even tear gas and rubber bullets. Police formed three-deep defensive lines equipped with riot shields, truncheons and guns. By mid-morning, protester supply stations – well-stocked with water, foodstuffs, first-aid supplies and other necessities – were already springing up.
“With Hong Kong being a financial city and society very polarized at the moment, we don’t expect a complete or near complete participation from all schools and companies. But every little bit helps,” said Jason Y. Ng, convener of the Progressive Lawyers Group.
Fellow lawyers and law students - hope to see you at CFA soon for the anti-extradition silent march!