Pro-Beijing politician’s remarks calling HK judges ‘sinners of society’ for freeing activists earn rebuke from city leader Carrie Lam

12-Sep-2018 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong’s leader on Tuesday described a pro-Beijing politician’s disparaging remarks about the city’s judges as “unacceptable”, after he called them “sinners of society” for overturning the jail sentences of 13 pro-democracy activists last week and allowing them to walk free.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was responding to questions from the press about the comments by Stanley Ng Chau-pei, a local delegate to the national legislature. Ng had slammed five Court of Final Appeal judges on his Facebook page, describing them as “killers of young people”.

Lam described insults and personal attacks against judges as “regrettable”.

“It is not the first time I am [making such remarks] here, and that has nothing to do with one’s political stance,” she said.

 (South China Morning Post)

(South China Morning Post)


“It would be unacceptable for people to make inappropriate comments over court decisions, to vilify the judges in contempt of court or even to launch personal attacks against a particular judge because they are unhappy with the judgment.”

It would be unacceptable for people to make inappropriate comments over court decisions

Carrie Lam, chief executive

Such acts dealt a blow to the spirit of the city’s judiciary, including its system, she added.

The remarks by Ng, who is head of the city’s Federation of Trade Unions, stemmed from the top court’s decision last Friday to free the group of 13 activists, who had each received jail sentences of up to 13 months from a lower court for unlawful assembly after an “extremely violent” protest outside the Legislative Council complex on June 13, 2014.

The judges said they endorsed new sentencing guidelines calling for stiffer punishments for violent unlawful assemblies but questioned the lower court’s decision to use a 15-month jail term as their starting point for sentencing. The defendants were freed on the grounds that they had suffered a grave injustice.

In two separate posts on his Facebook page last Friday and on Monday, Ng blasted the top court judges for freeing the activists.

“How could this be an act of loving and protecting young people? [The judges] are killing them!” the National People’s Congress delegate said.

How could this be an act of loving and protecting young people? [The judges] are killing them!

Stanley Ng, Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions

“These criminals are definitely not going to repent, and this would set a ticking time bomb in society.”

The court’s decision would “poison” a generation, Ng claimed, as he accused the judges of being “the killers of young people” and “sinners of society”.

Ng defended his remarks on Monday after his post drew criticism from pan-democrats. He suggested he had the right to point out mistakes made by the judges.

This was not the first time the government had warned against attacks on the city’s courts and judges.

In June, the Department of Justice called out personal attacks or insulting comments about judges after a spate of online abuse was directed at High Court judge Madam Justice Anthea Pang Po-kam, who threw independence activist Edward Leung Tin-kei behind bars for six years for his role in the 2016 Mong Kok riot.

The department said such comments even on social media could undermine the city’s judicial independence and constituted contempt of court.



Category: Hong Kong

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