LOOSE-LIPPED pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu (何君堯) landed himself in legal hot water after supporting calls to ‘kill’ Hong Kong independence advocates ‘without mercy’.
Ho organised a rally to protest pro-independence talks and demand University of Hong Kong legal scholar Benny Tai Yiu-ting (戴耀廷) be sacked for organising the 2014 Occupy movement. During the rally, Yuen Long district councillor Tsang Shu-wo (曾樹和) told the crowd that those who advocate Hong Kong’s independence “must be killed”. Ho, who was also on stage, responded to Tsang’s call by adding “with no mercy”.
Senior counsel and Executive Council member Ronny Tong Ka-wah (湯家驊) said Ho might have violated two sections of the Public Order Ordinance (公安條例), namely, Section 26 titled “Proposing violence at public gatherings”, and section 17B, which details causing public disorder.
But Tong believed Ho did not mean his words, saying, “Sometimes the Chinese words are not that accurate,” and that ‘killing’ could mean‘banning’or voiding one’s status in society. Ho told a subsequent radio programme the word‘kill’had meant a hatred for evil things and not to actually kill someone.
Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung (袁國強) said whether Ho’s actions were illegal cannot be judged by just a word or two.
Twenty two pro-democracy legislators released a statement condemning Ho’s‘hate speech’.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 26 September 2017)
Public Order Ordinance
Should there be limits on free speech?