In the event of a police search or arrest, knowing your rights and doing the smart thing can be the difference between walking free and getting into serious legal trouble.
Police in Hong Kong have arrested at least three young leaders, including one of the city’s most prominent democratic activists, a day before a weekend of new protests are expected to begin.
The young organiser of the peaceful, million-strong Hong Kong marches has been attacked by masked men in a restaurant, Hong Kong police have confirmed.
Hongkongers had a long June fighting the government and Beijing leadership, showing the world the resolve of the people to defend their rights. Hongkongers must now continue to stand in unity and protest until the government responds to the demands.
Chris Ng, convener of the Progressive Lawyers’ Group, said the admissibility evidence gathered at hospitals may be challenged in court if it was gathered by police in an unlawful manner. But he said police may also point to evidence that was not gathered at hospitals.
Barrister Chris Ng Chung-luen, from the Progressive Lawyers’ Group, said that if it could be proven that police gathered evidence at the hospital in an illegal way, its admissibility in court could be challenged. However, police may not just rely on evidence gathered at a hospital, he said.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency from Hong Kong, Angeline Chan from the Progressive Lawyers Group said the protest would continue till their demands are fulfilled.
But Progressive Lawyers Group convenor Billy Li said the concept of adesignated "riot" is legally meaningless. "Anything can be designated a riot where a group of people gather together and act to disturb public order," Lee said. "If it breaches the peace, even if they don't resort to extreme behavior such as throwing bricks or burning tires, as long as there are clashes, this can constitute a 'riot'."
What do the protests mean for the future of Hong Kong? And what do they say about Hong Kong’s relationship with the mainland? —The Editors
Hong Kong’s decision to pause a controversial extradition proposal in the face of mass protests is a rare political embarrassment for China’s Communist Party. But as VOA’s Bill Gallo reports from Hong Kong, many pro-democracy protesters in the semi-autonomous Chinese city fear a backlash from Beijing in the weeks ahead.
PLG spokesperson Wilson Leung speaks to the BBC (Vietnamese section) on the recent protests against the extradition bill.
Antony Dapiran, an Australian lawyer in Hong Kong, said: "Without doubt Hong Kong’s global business reputation has been impacted by this."
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.
“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.”
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.
Hong Kong people took to the streets on Sunday in mass protests to demonstrate against a proposed extradition bill that critics say could force dissidents to stand trial in the mainland — and which ultimately threatens the city’s judicial autonomy.