As usual before a big exciting event – in this case the quasi-election no-one much cares about – the HK Police find a scary cache of weapons, including airguns, pellets and axes. The public are invited to assume the materiel might be connected to some sort of planned terrorist attack related to the snore-inducing poll.
As with the free-transport gimmick, this will hardly encourage people to vote. Why go near polling stations if lunatic extremists with BB guns are plotting to target them? But it adds to the ambience of crisis, ever-present threats and lurking evildoers, and presumably justifies a massive police presence and overtime bill on Sunday.
Just in case you’re still not put off, the election also has a dress code.
The exercise will be so dull (nearly all candidates are pro-government while most opposition politicians are in jail) that overseas media find it interesting, at least a bit. France 24 is the latest with a report.
Many of the opposition figures in jail have not been found guilty of anything, yet have been denied bail since February. The Court of Final Appeal has decided that a near-automatic presumption against the granting of bail is OK, even if defendants are not charged under the National Security Law. Discussion and link to CFA ruling here.
After monitoring the Tong Ying-kit trial, the Clooney Foundation for Justice’s Trial Watch issues a report on how the NatSec Law is used to ‘supercharge’ cases (brief summary here). Tong’s trial also gets a mention in the UK government’s latest report on Hong Kong – denounced as interference blah blah by local and Beijing officials, who interpret the timing as another plot to undermine the ‘election’ no-one even cares about.