ICAC fights ‘likes’

The ICAC – supposedly an anti-corruption agency – charges four people for sharing social-media posts urging a boycott of the last LegCo elections. The charge is ‘inciting others to cast blank votes or not to vote’. Seems almost anything the government doesn’t like these days is ‘incitement’.

Has anyone worked out how it can be illegal to urge others not to vote, but perfectly legal to urge them to do so? Or why urging others to do something absolutely lawful – abstain from voting – should itself be illegal? How can you ‘incite’ someone to do something legal? (“Mother, can I incite you to have another scoop of ice cream?”)

High Court judges reject the Justice Department’s appeal on barring Jimmy Lai from hiring an overseas lawyer to defend him. The government’s arguments were as apparently desperate as they were varied. One was that Timothy Owen KC has insufficient experience in NatSec Law matters – but who does? And surely that’s the defendant’s problem, not the government’s. Another was that a Cantonese speaker would better ‘advance the language’ of the NatSec Law, though I would have thought Putonghua would be preferable. The judges cited a need for ‘public perception of fairness’ and the high profile of the case, which brings us back to why the government would prefer local counsel.

David Webb digs up some interesting stats…

…the number of unconvicted people on remand (innocent until proven guilty) in HK jails at 30-Sep has reached a record this century of 2,751, or 35.41% of the jail population.

It was around 10% in 2000.

More on the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s real-estate and other activities. Having bought a half-billion-dollar house, they seem to be settling in.

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7 Responses to ICAC fights ‘likes’

  1. Matthew Marsh says:

    Ref: the number of unconvicted people on remand (innocent until proven guilty) in HK jails at 30-Sep has reached a record this century of 2,751, or 35.41% of the jail population – does anyone have data from other countries?

  2. Matthew Marsh says:

    Oh. I found this (link below). Which is disappointing. Unless I have misunderstood?

    Obviously HK jumping from 10 to 35% seems to correlate with what we have seen. But why do other countries have similar rates? Especially Australia and NZ? Before you ask, I checked: the data is from 2021, not 1821…

    https://www.russellwebster.com/there-are-11-7-million-people-in-prison-globally/

  3. Chris Maden says:

    I suspect that the Nat Sec’s new villa may attract a very specific type of person as neighbours….

  4. Low Profile says:

    @Matthew Marsh – a low percentage of unsentenced prisoners is not neccessarily a good sign; it could indicate a system where trials are rushed and defendants have little opportunity to mount an adequate defence. https://www.prisonstudies.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/world_pre-trial_imprisonment_list_2nd_edition_1.pdf gives a country-by-country breakdown (with a few notable omissions).

  5. HK-Cynic says:

    I wonder the average time in jail without parole is for the 2,751. I’m betting it is over a year. Justice delayed is justice denied.

  6. Mark Bradley says:

    “it could indicate a system where trials are rushed and defendants have little opportunity to mount an adequate defence.”

    No one rotting in prison on remand is going to be able to mount an adequate defence. The odds are already stacked against them due to stuff like lack of sleep, lack of privacy, lack of dignity, etc.

  7. The Scene In The Movie Where They Shoot The Hostages says:

    Charging people for advocating abstaining from voting appears to be about silencing Ted Hui from afar. They can’t extradite him but they can punish a bunch of random people for liking his posts. If he’s a decent sort of fellow he’ll think twice about putting anyone else at risk.

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