Hong Kong opposition’s pipe dream of amnesty to the mob

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/24 20:50:39

Hong Kong's opposition and radical protesters have ridiculed themselves by demanding that the  Hong Kong Special Administrative Region  (HKSAR)  government not prosecute lawbreaking demonstrators. We believe that the  SAR  government will never make concessions to them on the issue.

It is well known that some rioters in Hong Kong have carried out grave acts prohibited by law during demonstrations. Their detention and trial are a fundamental part of the rule of law. It is up to the courts to decide what to do with them.

The real purpose of the opposition's demand for unconditional release and amnesty to those rioters is to use the power generated by street politics to overwhelm the authority of law, to declare that violence in street politics enjoys judicial immunity, and to lay down the rule that makes sure perpetrators are not held accountable.

Because of advocating "democracy," mobs then should be exempt from the law. If that is made into a rule, is Hong Kong still a society ruled by law? This is what the opposition in Hong Kong has requested. Some Western forces also support this demand. This is a real attempt to undermine the rule of law in Hong Kong.

Demanding the release of rioters is a brazen act of supporting violence. The opposition is trying to make a moral case of this vicious strategy directed against the rule of law and meant to shield violence. 

Protesters were reluctant to stop after realizing their goal of blocking the extradition bill. They tried to win a battle that would have a longer term impact, and to be free from the law by turning the streets into a political arena that can influence major issues in Hong Kong.

If their purpose is achieved, it would mean politics in Hong Kong is above the law.  

The HKSAR government and the police have encountered temporary difficulties in performing their duties, but Hong Kong's long-established foundation of the rule of law remains. Hongkongers' strong desire for a peaceful and orderly society has not changed. The vandals have triggered resentment among a growing number of Hong Kong citizens. They can't get away with it all at once.

The rule of law in Hong Kong is strongly supported and endorsed by the central government. If demonstrators who resort to violence are not punished according to law, the people of Hong Kong will fear endless consequences, and Beijing will not agree.

The opposition should not overestimate their power, and should not imagine that they can use violence to scare away people who uphold rule of law. Lawbreakers shouldn't dream that they can be condoned by making even bigger trouble.

And don't think that Western forces can help them get off the hook before the law. The West can only influence part of public opinion in Hong Kong. The rule of law in the city, supported by the central government, will never yield to Western pressure.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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