Samuel Bickett introduces his testimony to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China…
With the majority of foreign attention focused on the National Security Law, my number one priority was to draw attention to abuses taking place outside of NSL cases due to rampant, open misconduct in court by judges, magistrates, prosecutors and police officers. After all, the vast majority of political prisoners in Hong Kong are charged under common law crimes like unlawful assembly, riot, and “weapons” possession (usually laser pointers)—not the NSL. Since these laws were not designed to be used in this way, it has required a great deal of manipulation and outright misconduct by civil servants to ensure convictions…
The agenda of the hearings links to testimony from other witnesses – Patrick Poon, Fermi Wong and Ching Cheong, and to a video of the session.
The Commission’s research note names Justice Dept personnel and outlines possible sanctions against them.
The Hong Kong government’s response is predictably over-sensitive and over-wrought, saying the US…
…once again, manifests its hegemonism by disseminating slanders and attempting to intimidate the prosecutors of the HKSAR Government.
…The spokesperson rebuked that it is most despicable for the so-called “staff research report” to name the Secretary for Justice, together with 15 prosecutors, of the HKSAR Government with a threat of imposing the so-called “sanction” on them. This is clearly trampling on legal justice and attempting to threaten by way of hegemonism [you’ve said that already] the HKSAR Government officials who have been discharging their due prosecution role dutifully with justice upheld. Such gross interference in Hong Kong matters constitutes a serious violation of fundamental principles of international law.
The spokesperson said, “The attempt of the United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China to repeat a lie numerous times as if it were a truth simply reflects its ill intent and amounts to nothing more than an indecent act”.
Phew. Samuel Bickett points out…
It hits a nerve because of how effectively the sanctions would deter misconduct. They can control fallout w/ senior officials, but not lower ranks.
Not sure if it would deter misconduct so much as deter being a Justice Dept employee. No mention of the even bigger step of putting sanctions on judges.
Justice Secretary Paul Lam defends the ‘incitement of hatred/enmity stuff in a Sing Tao interview…’
As for any confusion arising from terms such as “hatred-triggering,” “dissatisfaction” and “enmity,” Lam said they should not be considered without context and that various factors, from the background of a case to the accused person’s tone of voice, would be taken into account.
By ‘tone of voice’, does he mean the government reserves the right to read your mind and decide what you really meant?
Meanwhile, a Hong Kong government delegation attended (by video link) a UN human rights committee’s meeting, answering – or not answering – questions on political, labour, academic and other freedoms. Asked if Hong Kong NGOs could be assured that they wouldn’t be persecuted for communicating with the UN, the delegates said – well, guess.
Sadly, all the government’s hard PR work is promptly undermined by more harsh sentences. Koo Sze-yiu goes international, in the BBC and AFP, among others. Soon to be joined by Grandma Wong, age 66, sentenced to eight months for – nothing, really.
On a separate note, this just in from our Wimbledon correspondent: one Victor Gao says tennis player Peng Shuai is ‘too tall to have been sexually assaulted’.