WTPOHK supports HK Bar Association President on the rule of law
Updated: Feb 22
The Hong Kong Bar Association is the professional regulatory body for barristers in Hong Kong (HK). The incoming President is Paul Harris and the outgoing President was Philip Dykes.
This has got to be one of the most thankless tasks that any HK Barrister could take - i.e. constant pounding over the head by the ever belligerent Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and their minions the Communist HK government.
We fully agree with Mr. Harris on the need for CCP and HK's government to uphold the Joint Declaration and its agreed rule OF law. (Please see links below on numerous unanswered questions asked of China by UN bodies).
CCP's Emperor Xi Jinping has made it clear that he is continuing his breach of the Joint Declaration and the illegal annexation of HK despite objections of 39 democratic countries at the UN (see UN links below). And in the latest gaslighting witnessed in HK, accusations are being made in pro-Beijing quarters that the UK is breaching the Joint Declaration with its BNO path to citizenship for emigrants fleeing the SAR.
Thank you Paul Harris for having the courage and fortitude to step up to the task on behalf of all HKers!
CCP please answer the following UN letters sent to you:
Apple Daily 21 February 2021 'Possibility of banning Hong Kong Bar Association a ‘wild idea,’ says chairman'
Apple Daily 1 February 2021 'Hong Kong Bar Association’s new chair on national security law and China'
RTHK 29 January 2021 'Bar Association facing abyss under Paul Harris'
RTHK 21 January 2021 'New Bar Association head seeks security law changes'
New Bar Association head seeks security law changes
RTHK 29 January 2021
The new chairman of Hong Kong's Bar Association, Paul Harris, on Thursday said he will campaign for changes to the national security law to try to convince foreign countries to reinstate extradition agreements with the SAR that were suspended over concerns about the legislation.
Harris told reporters after he was formally elected as Bar Chairman that it has become easier for fugitives to move around, after nine western countries halted extradition arrangements with the SAR shortly after the imposition of the security law at the end of June.
"I hope to explore whether there is any chance of getting the government to agree some modifications to that national security law that will enable extradition arrangements to be reinstated. I don’t know if that’d be possible but that’s what I am going to work towards," the human rights lawyer said.
The senior counsel said there are some particularly problematic provisions in the law that aren’t consistent with the Basic Law, such as one that exempts mainland national security officers from police searches, inspection, or detention here, and another that allows national security suspects to be taken to the mainland for trial.
Harris also described it as a “difficult time” for the rule of law in Hong Kong, and vowed he will do his level best to defend it, and safeguard the SAR’s independent judiciary.
"I am a deeply-committed rule of law person. That means on the one hand I don’t like violent demonstrators, on the other hand I don’t like authorities that abuse their power."
"I have been utterly appalled and disgusted at a number of attacks on the judges that I have seen in certain newspapers recently. The judges can’t answer back, it’s the rules under which they operate, they don’t enter into public controversy. So it’s a particularly mean and disgusting thing to make groundless allegation about a judge," Harris said.
Erick Shum, along with the incumbent Anita Yip, have elected as vice-chairpersons of the Bar Association.
Beijing Signals Much Larger Role in Hong Kong Affairs
RFA 28 January 2021
Beijing has signaled it will step up direct political control over Hong Kong, as ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) general secretary Xi Jinping said the city must be ruled by "patriots." Xi told Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam that the "patriots ruling Hong Kong" was a fundamental part of Beijing's policy towards the city, adding that it affected national sovereignty and security. "The central government’s comprehensive jurisdiction over the Special Administrative Region can only be achieved if patriots rule Hong Kong," state news agency Xinhua quoted Xi as telling Lam during a duty trip to Beijing. He said this would resolve "deep-seated problems" in Hong Kong, in an apparent reference to the political opposition. Since China imposed draconian national security legislation on the city from July 1, 2020, authorities in Hong Kong have been cracking down on peaceful dissent, expelling pro-democracy lawmakers who protested in the Legislative Council (LegCo) and arresting people for subversion, secession, sedition and collusion with foreign powers over social media posts. Xi's comments came as the city's government confirmed that members of the District Council, which saw a landslide victory for pro-democracy parties in November 2019, will be required to swear oaths of allegiance. Claims that oaths of allegiance weren't honored have been used to strip several elected LegCo members of their seats, eventually prompting the mass resignation of the entire opposition camp in December 2020 in protest. District councilors have told RFA that the administration has been doing everything in its power to undermine the councils since the last election, to the extent of denying funding and setting up 'shadow' councils staffed with Beijing's supporters. 'A political struggle' Southern District Council chairman Lo Kin-hei, who also leads the Democratic Party, said the authorities have succeeded in neutralizing LegCo, and have now turned their attention to the District Council, as a last bastion of political opposition in the city. "This is a political struggle," Lo told RFA. "LegCo can no longer fight, so the fight has moved to the District Council." "The trouble is that the district councils weren't designed for political struggle, but to reflect the opinions of local communities and to take care of people's livelihoods," he said. Hong Kong political commentator To Yiu-ming said the CCP will have total control over who is considered a "patriot." "This means they can remove democrats or dissidents from LegCo or the District Council just by labeling them unpatriotic," To told RFA. "There will be more disqualifications." 'Social work' department Meanwhile, a report on the HK01 news website said Beijing's Central Liaison Office in Hong Kong would step up its direct involvement in the daily life of the city with the establishment of a "social work" department. "This has been happening since the beginning of this year, via personnel changes, since Luo Huining took over [as head of the office]," To said. "It has now become much clearer what the agenda is." "They will be taking a much larger role in decision-making in Hong Kong in future, and specifically intervene in community business, like a party committee directing the work of the Hong Kong government," he said. "They're not even pretending that this is one country, two systems any more." Meanwhile, a court in West Kowloon sentenced activist Koo Sze-yiu to four months in prison on Thursday for "desecrating the national flag." Koo, 74, was accused of displaying a tainted national flag when he showed up outside court in July last year in support of pro-democracy activists, including media tycoon Jimmy Lai and 14 others charged with protest-related offenses, government broadcaster RTHK reported. The court found that the flag had been marked words including "white terror" and "fascist terror," and that Koo, who has stage four colorectal cancer, had held it upside down. Reported by Gigi Lee for RFA's Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.