An HKFP explainer on how – after doing it freely for decades – organizers of Hong Kong’s annual Tiananmen vigil found themselves being charged with ‘incitement to subversion’ and other NatSec crimes.
Precisely what is permitted and what is not remains unclear. Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu has said everyone must act in accordance with the law. Officials cannot say with certainty whether a particular act is legal or illegal, as this is for the courts to decide when applying and interpreting laws. It might depend on many factors. But greater clarity is needed, at least so far as general principles are concerned.
As it is, the police are arresting activists in Causeway Bay, and Victoria Park is occupied by a drab-looking shopping festival run by United Front groups (decor looking like Barbie movie rejects). And Transit Jam in a scrape (an update – jeez).
Best not wear a black T-shirt today.
Reported by China Digital Times – instructions from Douyin to social media ‘opinion leaders’ on content to avoid during June 3-5…
…Comments and reposts are forbidden from displaying content including, but not limited to: lit candle emojis, numbers with unclear implications, slogans, tanks, old photos with a throwback feel, Jackie Chan/Alan Tam/Eric Tsang/Anita Mui and other Hong Kong artists, or photographs of large crowds/Victoria Harbor/Tiananmen/the Summer Palace/candlelight/objects lined up in a row, among other content. When necessary, please temporarily close the comment section until the day restrictions are lifted.
* Note that the number of retweets, comments, or likes on official-account content should never be a sensitive number. When necessary, please rectify in a timely manner.
And don’t mention Sitong Bridge.
China Media Project on an enduring legacy of 1989 – the rise and constant stress on ‘public opinion guidance’.
Philip Dykes in HKFP on the withdrawal of books from libraries. He says that the authorities should explain why (after reading them) certain books contravene the law. He adds…
…the chief executive’s other pretext for removing books from libraries – that some books’ contents are “not in the interests of Hong Kong” … is a value judgement or matter of opinion only. It is not a statement about a book’s legal status.
Public libraries exist for the benefit of all sections of the public. Librarians should select library materials covering a wide range of subjects that caters to all ages and all tastes so that a library can meet the public’s reasonable needs for information and educational materials. Librarians need to be non-judgmental when meeting the needs of the public.
Not according to Beijing officials, who have made clear that all executive, legislative and judicial officers have somewhat different duties and priorities than ‘impartiality’.