HK national security law: ex-lawmaker in jail awaiting trial barred from attending father’s funeral, told he can watch online

06-May-2021 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 5:02 AM Print This Post

A detained former leader of Hong Kong’s biggest opposition party has been barred from attending his father’s funeral, but authorities have said he will be allowed to watch the ceremony online.

The Democratic Party’s Wu Chi-wai, currently in jail awaiting three separate trials, had earlier requested he be allowed to pay tribute to his father who died last month in person on Friday.

A former lawmaker, the 58-year-old has been charged under the Beijing-imposed national security law as well as two other criminal offences.

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Without naming Wu on Wednesday, in a statement, a spokesman said the Correctional Services Department was aware it had been accused in a local media report of being “unsympathetic” and “politically motivated” in its treatment of a detainee.

Defending its decision, the spokesman said the existing Prison Rules, a subsidiary law, required that the department took into account a variety of issues, including security risks, possible escape routes and charges faced, when processing such requests.

After details of the funeral were reported, he said, there had been online calls for people to show up and lend their support.

“After a risk assessment, the Correctional Services Department has decided to reject the application to protect the safety of correctional officers, the person in custody and members of the public,” the spokesman said.

“The department upholds the principle of equality and handles applications for leave of absence from all persons in custody in accordance with existing security mechanisms,” he added.

Defending its decision, the spokesman said the existing Prison Rules, a subsidiary law, required that the department took into account a variety of issues, including security risks, possible escape routes and charges faced, when processing such requests.

After details of the funeral were reported, he said, there had been online calls for people to show up and lend their support.

“After a risk assessment, the Correctional Services Department has decided to reject the application to protect the safety of correctional officers, the person in custody and members of the public,” the spokesman said.

“The department upholds the principle of equality and handles applications for leave of absence from all persons in custody in accordance with existing security mechanisms,” he added.

Wu is also among 47 opposition figures charged with conspiring to subvert state power under the national security law for his role in an unofficial primary election last year.

The primary was designed to choose the strongest contenders from the opposition camp for the 2020 Legislative Council elections, which were eventually postponed. Officials and prosecutors had argued the poll was a plot to paralyse and overthrow the government.

Wu was also not granted bail in that case. The national security law imposes a higher threshold for bail than almost any offence other than murder.

He is also facing a third case in which he was accused of contempt and interference with Legco officers under the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance over a chaotic legislative meeting in May of last year.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/hong-kong-national-security-law-070938180.html

 

Category: Hong Kong

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