Monday, May 31, 2021

The Wickedness of the West towards legal process in Hong Kong, even against long-standing statute dating back to colonial times


Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were jailed on sound legal grounds, not Beijing’s orders

  • The judge who found them guilty of organising and being involved in an unlawful assembly acted with meticulous care and based her judgment on irrefutable evidence

  • The idea that Beijing practised ‘ruthless oppression’ on Hong Kong through the court proceedings is nonsense

Illustration: Craig Stephens

On April 16, a District Court sentenced nine prominent “activists” to imprisonment, with some sentences suspended, for organising and taking part in an unlawful assembly, under the Public Order Ordinance. This is a long-standing statute dating back to colonial times.

The sentencing led immediately to condemnation by Western leaders and the media. Chris Patten said the sentences showed Beijing’s “comprehensive assault on Hong Kong’s freedoms”. An editorial in The Australian carried the headline “Courageous Hong Kong democrats crushed”. The article went on to refer to the sentences as reflecting “the ruthless oppression Beijing is inflicting on the territory”.

This was a gross insult to Judge Amanda Woodcock, following a trial where the accused were
represented by six Senior Counsel and a whole host of junior barristers. Plainly, the critics didn’t read the
. Anyone bothering to do so would see that the judge acted with meticulous care, giving due weight to all the safeguards the common law affords to all accused persons.

The offences occurred on August 18, 2019. By that time, the insurgency, which started at the end of June, had gathered deadly momentum, following the
trashing of the Legislative Council chamber
on July 1.

The chamber was the symbolic centre of Hong Kong’s democracy. When the July 1 outrage occurred, the accused persons – all leaders of the democratic movement – had a choice: defend the values which the Legislative Council chamber stands for, or side with the insurgents, to trash its values. They chose the latter course.

A few days before August 18, the organisers gave notice to the police of their intention to do the following: conduct a large public meeting in Victoria Park; then mount a public procession starting from Victoria Park to Chater Road, and; conduct another public assembly at Chater Road.

Judge Woodcock’s judgment gives meticulous details as to what followed after such notification. It shows police tolerance, and care taken by the authorities to explain the reasons for their decisions. They focused on ensuring public order and public safety.

The demonstration was aimed, largely, at expressing hatred towards the police for alleged brutality in the previous several weeks. There was every chance that passions would be aroused, resulting in violence.

The following are the steps taken, leading to the events on August 18:

  • Dialogue between the police and the organisers

  • The police response to the organisers’ notification: no objections to the public assembly in Victoria Park, conditional upon the organisers arranging for 200 marshals responsible for crowd control.

  • Objection to the procession from Victoria Park to Chater Road.

  • Objection to the public assembly at Chater Road.

  • An Appeal Board, a body independent of the police, hearing the organisers’ grievances about the police objections. The appeal was dismissed by the board.

  • Press conferences and interviews by the organisers, urging people to fill up Victoria Park, and complaints that the police had no plans for crowd dispersal.

There was not the slightest doubt that the defendants knew full well that the procession from Victoria Park to Chater Road was, in light of police objections, unlawful.

During the procession, some of the defendants vaunted the march’s illegality by shouting slogans: this was meant to encourage others to join them.

There had, prior to August 18, been occasions when a procession which started peacefully turned violent. On the day in question, the police tried to be as inconspicuous as possible, knowing that their mere presence might arouse discontent: hence the requirement for the organisers to have 200 marshals for crowd control.

As Judge Woodcock found, as the number of people arriving in Victoria Park increased, the police were “subjected to a barrage of verbal abuse, foul language and insults”.

The entire day’s proceedings received continuous news coverage. Video footage showed a huge banner unrolled in the afternoon printed with the words “Stop the police and gangsters from plunging Hong Kong into chaos, implement the 5 demands” and a picture of a woman with a wounded eye.

Video footage also showed all the defendants, except Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, who joined the party a few minutes later, carrying the banner aloft, leaving Victoria Park. Lee Cheuk-yan held a microphone and walked in front. As he chanted slogans, the other defendants responded. The banner party led the procession all the way to Chater Road. This took up the width of a carriageway.

What possible defence was there to the two public order charges?

Several of the defendants were lawyers. The cynicism they displayed in court is staggering. Their defence was that the police had abnegated their duty to disperse the crowd safely. They claimed that what they led, under the banner, was not a procession; it was simply a technique to help disperse the crowd.

The fact that they were inciting others along the way to join the procession, the fact that they had passed several MTR stations and never once asked the crowd following them to disperse – all that, they claimed, could be ignored. During the procession, Leung Kwok-hung chanted repeatedly: “I have the right of procession. No police permission is required” and “I have the right to protest”.

Leung Kwok-hung: “I have the right of procession. No police permission is required” and “I have the right to protest”

The judge patiently entertained the defence. In the end, her finding was crystal clear: the intention was to flout the law and thwart the ban. Each defendant had that criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt. No objective person, reading her judgment, could possibly find fault with that conclusion.

Another defence put up by the accused, of even greater cynicism, was that the sections of the Public Order Ordinance under which they were charged were “unconstitutional”.

The provisions in the ordinance that were under attack had been in the statute book all the time the lawyer-defendants were members of Legco. If such a law was fundamentally wrong, what did they do about it while they were lawmakers? The judge, again with admirable patience, dismissed the challenge.

What, one might ask rhetorically, had Beijing to do with this case? The notion that Beijing practised “ruthless oppression” on Hong Kong through the District Court proceedings is utter nonsense.

Henry Litton is a retired Court of Final Appeal judge and author of “Is the Hong Kong Judiciary Sleepwalking to 2047?”


  1. henry a white communist.

    1. What's wrong with been a communist?

      Many things wrong with been a demoNcratic katak, no?

    2. nothing wrong, just similar to islamist.

    3. U included?

      Then what's yr fart?


    Henry Litton is now Beijing's favourite Gweilo lawyer.

    1. Wakakakakaka…

      Beijing has some favorite gweilos. But mostly uninvited & contributing in silence.

      Fame seekers r excludivrly all yr f*cked imagination of shitstirring!

  3. So zalim this Bully. 65-year old nenek oso they arrest, for peaceful demonstration. Don't worry, Boris will give PR then she can start a blog from Brittania to hentam Bully, just like ex-Malaysians having PR in Oz blog everyday hentam zalim Malaysian gomen, about injustices in Malaysia.

    Hong Kong's 'Grandma Wong' arrested for solo Tiananmen protest
    By AFP - May 31, 2021

    In this file photo taken on March 1, 2021, Alexandra Wong, an activist known as Grandma Wong, sits outside the West Kowloon court in Hong Kong. - Hong Kong police have arrested Wong, an elderly democracy activist, on May 30, 2021, as she made a solo demonstration over China's deadly Tiananmen crackdown in a vivid illustration of the zero protest tolerance now wielded by authorities in the financial hub. (Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP)

    HONG KONG: Hong Kong police have arrested an elderly democracy activist as she made a solo demonstration over China's deadly Tiananmen crackdown in a vivid illustration of the zero protest tolerance now wielded by authorities in the financial hub.

    Alexandra Wong, 65, was detained on Sunday on suspicion of taking part in an unlawful assembly as she walked towards Beijing's Liaison Office in Hong Kong.

    Wong -- known locally as "Grandma Wong" -- was a regular fixture of the huge democracy protests that swept Hong Kong in 2019.

    She could often be seen waving a Union Jack flag, a symbol of her dissatisfaction with Beijing's rule since the city was handed to China by former colonial power Britain in 1997.

    Protest is now all but outlawed in Hong Kong.

    1. Arresting and charging Grandma Wong was one of the stupidest things the Puppet Hk SAR Regime has done during the crackdown.

    2. No.

      Anyone going against the laws of the land is punishable - irregardless of age, gender & race!

      Perhaps, within that fart filled well, things r different & subjected to fancy interpretations.

  4. Nenek Wong can join hundreds of thousands of Honkies now flooding Britannia, like Malaysians not happy with gomen flood Oz, UK, Canada etc....

  5. Litton passport apa? Satu atau dua? Bully atau Britannia?

    1. Get yr favourite grandma Wong to quickly choose lah!

      Why so hard up to stay put in a land that she doesn't like bcoz of the lost of the pommie heritage?

      Maybe, fame is one thing at her twilight age, with some incentives throwing in?

    2. those with communist tongue rarely hv ccpland passport. henry sure hold whitemanland passport.

    3. However about those with demoNcratic tongue rarely hv any demoNcratic passport.

      Get yr oz passport ready?

      Bcoz when Formosa been united with the motherland yr f*cking illegitimate Formosa pr would be worthless!

    4. unite happen when ccp collapse, at that time, communist tongue will rush to get roc passport.

    5. Wakakakaka…

      Dan kuku lah in yr wet dream!

  6. So now the Puppet HK SAR Regime has made it a criminal offence to remember the Tiananmen Massacre 1989.

    I suppose next they will brainwash Hong Kong students to either deny anything bad happened, or Tiananmen Massacre was a beautiful thing.

    1. When did HK SAR Regime has made it a criminal offence to remember the Tiananmen Massacre 1989?

      Under our fart filled well!

    2. This MonsterBigot thinks that by sheer dint of repeating a lie would convince people to accept it as a truth. Podah !

      Read my lips : THERE IS NO MASSACRE

      This topic was covered several months ago at this site but you fakers can't even mount a meaningful rebuttal to counter the exact facts of the incident where it was demonstrated that those Western journalists actually present that fateful evening had confessed that there is no massacre.

      In 2004, the Christian Science Monitor revealed that Human Rights Watch decided not to publish their 52-page eye-witness report that confirmed the Chinese side of the story. In 2009, BBC journalist James Miles admitted that he had “conveyed the wrong impression.” CBS journalist, Richard Roth also confessed in 2009 that

      “we saw no bodies, injured people, ambulances or medical personnel – in short, nothing to even suggest, let alone prove, that a “massacre” had recently occurred in that place,” however, Roth continues: “ after a debrief[ing] on-air by Dan Rather (London office), I made an effort to avoid using the word “massacre””, and acknowledged that he did not “make a point trying to contradict a colleague on the air.”

      The book Tiananmen Square “Massacre”? The Power of Words v Silent Evidence (2014) compares dozens of images (silent evidence) from the Western media to their corresponding captions to explain how the power of language can easily overpower the silent evidence that tells the opposite story.