Home » Hong Kong court upholds opposition activists national security data request convictions

Hong Kong court upholds opposition activists national security data request convictions

by Derek Andrews
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The Hong Kong Court docket of First Occasion upheld pro-democracy activists Chow Dangle-tung, Tang Ngok-kwan and Tsui Hon-kwong’s convictions of failing to adjust to discover to supply info below Article 43 of the China-imposed National Security Law.

Schedule 5 of the Implementation Rules of Article 43 states that the Commissioner of Police could serve a discover requiring international brokers to supply info on offenses that endanger nationwide safety. Data could embrace the actions, property and private particulars of members of international organizations in Hong Kong.

The activists argued that they weren’t obligated to adjust to the discover because the alliance was not a international agent. Nevertheless, Choose Lai dominated that being a international agent is just not a component of the offense. The activists additionally sought to problem the legality of the notices by arguing that they had been extremely vires or of retrospective impact. The court docket refused to contemplate the collateral problem to the legality of the notices as a result of the activists ought to have challenged the legality by judicial overview, which one of many defendants did however later dropped the applying.

As well as, Lai emphasised that the Commissioner of Police ought to take pleasure in vast powers to facilitate the implementation of the Nationwide Safety Regulation. Lai wrote:

To place [Article 43 of the National Security Law] into impact, the clear intent of the legislative physique…is to confer upon the [Commissioner of Police] vast powers to research into the offenses endangering nationwide safety. Specifically, within the case of territorial investigation, such powers should be given a large ambit in order to present full use and impact to the…functions of resolutely safeguarding nationwide safety and opposing exterior interference.

The activists additionally argued that, in giving public curiosity immunity to the prosecution, the Justice of the Peace disadvantaged the activists of their proper to a good trial. Lai additionally rejected this declare and held that the knowledge was correctly redacted and the immunity didn’t trigger any unfairness to the activists.

Dismissing the sentencing enchantment, Lai held that the activists had been “clearly decided from the outset to not adjust to the requirement of the [n]otices,” since they introduced their non-compliance with the discover in an open letter to the Commissioner of Police on September 7, 2021.

The West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts beforehand imposed on the activists to four-and-a-half month jail sentence on March 11, 2023, over failing to comply with the Commissioner of Police’s discover to supply info as former members of the disbanded Hong Kong Alliance in Help of the Patriotic Democratic Actions of China. The alliance organized Hong Kong’s annual Tiananmen Sq. vigils till it disbanded in September 2021.

Relatedly, on January 25, the Court docket of Ultimate Enchantment overturned Chow’s acquittal and reinstated her conviction of inciting others to take part in an unauthorized meeting below Section 17A(3)(a) of the Public Order Ordinance and the frequent regulation. On October 31, 2023, the Excessive Court docket dismissed Chow’s utility which sought to declare her as a celebration to the injunction enchantment proceedings of the protest-related tune “Glory to Hong Kong.”

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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