Are Hong Kong’s courts protecting rioters?

By Li Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/18 21:08:39

A rioter is about to throw a Molotov cocktail at the police in Causeway Bay of Hong Kong, August 31, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

The New York Times published an article titled "Can Hong Kong's courts save the city?" on Saturday. The author, Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, is a barrister and former Hong Kong legislator. In the article she wrote she has been using "legal action" to help the protesters. "The rule of law cannot survive" if the government "does not respect fair play, freedom or democracy."

Disappointedly, Hong Kong's High Court announced on Monday that the anti-mask law was "unconstitutional." The ruling will seriously hamper Hong Kong police operations against violence and to restore order.

The concept of Hong Kong's rule of law is broken. Who does Hong Kong's law protect, the ordinary people and the police, or the violent black-clad rioters? Unfortunately, many people in Hong Kong and Western countries agree with the New York Times article. In their opinion, laws and regulations are meant to protect the so-called underprivileged protesters and to restrict the police. This is a completely wrong view of law.

It makes sense to launch an investigation. But why do these people only aim at investigating the police and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, rather than investigating what people have been instigating, encouraging and hyping terror-like violence in the city? 

In the article, Audrey Eu said she helped Jacky So Tsun-fung, president of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) student union, who wanted to apply for an urgent injunction to stop the police from breaching the campus without a warrant. It goes without saying that such an injunction should not be passed. If Hong Kong's law helps the rampant rioters in such a way, then the law is completely useless.

Hong Kong must fix such a reverse concept of the rule of law. Hongkongers should understand who resorted to violence first and who destroyed the city first. If the mob had not broken the law first, Hong Kong police would not have to operate against them. Some ill-intentioned people have been calling white black and distorting the truth. 

For example, Eu said "whatever the protesters were doing did not justify the authorities' disproportionate response," adding that even CUHK's current vice chancellor Rocky S. Tuan was tear-gassed. However, the fact is the police had no choice but to stop the rioters from throwing debris from an overpass endangering ordinary people and agreed with Tuan that the police would withdraw as soon as rioters stop throwing. But the mob did not stop after the police left. How can this be regarded as "disproportionate?"

The rioters have been creating rumors, smearing the police and intensifying the condition only to advocate for themselves. If even Hong Kong's law condones these rioters of their crimes, then Hong Kong's situation will be further shadowed.

The rule of law can save Hong Kong, but the premise is that the rioters must be punished. The mob's terror-like violence is bound to be punished. Eu said "the rule of law cannot survive," but it is precisely people like her who are pushing Hong Kong's rule of law into the abyss. Just like the rioters, the judges and lawyers who absolve rioters of their crimes will be despised.

Posted in: OBSERVER

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