February 8 is the 3rd anniversary of the 2016 Lunar New Year Mongkok Police-civilian Clash (#FishballRevolution). This year an assembly will be held at HKU from 8 pm to 11 pm to commemorate the imprisoned dissidents and to restore the truth about the incident. On the same night 3 years ago, Hong Kong citizens came forward to protect cooked food hawkers and defend local culture. Provoked and beaten up by the police, they tried to defend themselves but were subsequently prosecuted for rioting, arson, etc. In passing verdicts and sentences, judges concerned failed to consider factors like social circumstances and the defendants’ motive and motivation.
Prosecution as Political Persecution
Lord Chris Patten, former Governor of HK, argues that vaguely defined Public Order Ordinance offences are being used for political persecution of activists. #FionaBruce MP, Chair of the UK Conservative Party Human Rights Commission thinks that the HK government is “using the law to intimidate the pro-democracy movement and curtail freedom of expression.” So far 91 people have been arrested and at least 31 convicted and given disproportionate sentences, e.g., #EdwardLeung Tin-kei was sentenced to 6 years in jail, Lo Kin-man 7 years, and a 72-year-old W.C. Chan 41 months. Three of the other defendants had to flee Hong Kong and hide themselves overseas in exile.
“Restore the Truth; Don’t Forget the Imprisoned Dissidents”
3 local college students’ unions, including HK University Student Union, Chinese University Student Union, HK PolyU Student Union, believe that the accused dissidents’ motive and motivation were sincere pursuits of social benefits instead of self-interests. In order to commemorate these dissidents who have paid heavy prices for defending the local culture of HK and help to clear them of the “mobster” stigma, the 3 unions will hold an assembly known as “Restore the Truth; Don’t Forget the Imprisoned Dissidents” and present the truth about the incident to the public.
Date: February 8, 2019
Time: 8pm to 11pm
Venue: The open space outside Level UG1, Union Building, HKU, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Nationality Front
More Details about the 2016 Mongkok Police-civilian Clash
On 8 Feb. 2016 night, when Hong Kong unlicensed hawkers, following the tradition of the Lunar New Year, sold cooked food like fishball in Mongkok, Kowloon, HK, as part of the HK local culture, they were harassed by food hygiene officers. The HK Indigenous, a localist party headed by Edward Leung & Ray Wong, together with other ordinary citizens, came to shield the hawkers. Defenders of hawkers and the police at first peacefully confronted each other. Edward Leung, as a Legislature by-election candidate, started a election rally to justify the gathering, but suddenly, without sufficient warning, the police attacked the crowd with pepper spray and shields. When the provoked crowd refused to go, they were beaten with batons by the charging police. The crowd then dispersed to nearby streets and engaged in sporadic conflicts with the police. The conflict was escalated when a policeman fired twice at the sky & then pointed it at the crowd. It was only then that more and more protesters threw bricks at the police from a distance. Finally 91 people were arrested at the scene or at home.
Regarding Leung’s sentencing, Lord Chris Pattern, last Governor of Hong Kong, said, “We attempted to reform the Public Order Ordinance in the 1990s and made a number of changes because it was clear that the vague definitions in the legislation are open to abuse and do not conform with United Nations human rights standards….. that the legislation is now being used politically to place extreme sentences on the pan-democrats and other activists.” Fiona Bruce MP, the Chair of the UK Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, said: “Edward’s sentencing … is only one of many examples of the HK government using the law to intimidate the pro-democracy movement and curtail freedom of expression.” (According to that Ordinance, anyone joining an “unlawful assembly” & committing “a breach of the peace” is guilty of “rioting”. An “unlawful assembly” is one in which 3 or more persons act in a disorderly….manner likely or intended to cause any reasonable person to fear there will be a breach of the peace.)
The HK Public Order Ordinance was passed by the British Colonial Govt. to deal with HK 1967 rioters. The HK 1967 Riots, encouraged by Beijing & local communists, lasted for 8 months and led to 51 deaths (incl. kids, journalists, & policemen) & 802 injuries. Most of the accused got only 1 to 2 years’ imprisonment. Whereas the Mongkok civil unrest only lasted for 10 hours & led to 125 injuries (mostly protesters) & no deaths. Yet, the accused were severely punished, e.g., Edward Leung was sentenced to 6 years in jail, Lo Kin-man 7 years, and a 72-year-old W.C. Chan 41 months. Three of the other defendants had to flee Hong Kong and hide themselves overseas in exile.
#HongKongHumanRights #MongkokPoliceCivilianClash #MongkokRioting #FishballRevolution #PublicOrderOrdinance #ChrisPatten
Chapman Chen reports: