Translator: MOS Translation Group – Stay
The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) received a document today (26th) from the Director of Societies of the Police, accusing the CHRF of violating the Societies Ordinance and requesting the CHRF provide an explanation by May 5th. The CHRF said it would seek legal advice but have no other response for now. Former convener Chung Chung Fai told Stand News that some members had privately registered CHRF as an “association” in 2006. However, CHRF later cancelled the registration because it believed that the registration was against the freedom of association. The initial major contributor, Choi Yiu Cheong, said that CHRF was a civil communication platform for discussion, in which it has minimal censorship; therefore, it did not register. When the police replied to the inquiry they did not respond to why not raising the issue of the CHRF or the law in the past, but only said that they would deal with it according to the actual situation.
According to the documents that CHRF provided to the media, the Police Societies Officer said that CHRF had registered as a society on July 18, 2006, and applied for cancellation on September 11th in the same year. The Police Officer of Societies questioned that the CHRF continued to operate as a society afterward, which violates section 5 of the Societies Ordinance. The section states that “any local society shall apply to the Societies Officer for registration or exemption from presiding over the society within one month of its establishment or deemed establishment.” The Police Officer of Societies requested the CHRF to submit six pieces of documentation by May 5. That includes:
1. The reasons for not registering as an association;
2. Whether the CHRF is an organization exempted from association application (i.e. registered company, a registered workers’ union, etc.)
3. Whether the Facebook page and webpage are managed by the CHRF itself;
4. The dates and locations of processions and rallies held from September 2006 to the present;
5. All sources of income, expenses, and venues; and the number of events.
6. To explain why it joined the 28 organizations, including the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China (HKASPDMC), to request the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Michelle Bachelet, to urge the Hong Kong and CCP governments to improve human rights.
The convenor, Chan Ho-Hwan, said that the CHRF would seek legal advice and did not respond further for the time being. The Stand News asked Chung Chung Fai, who was the convenor in 2005 and 2007, about the short-lived registration of the CHRF in 2006. According to Chung, the registration in 2006 was not a result of a general meeting held and approved by the CHRF, but a member of the CHRF who took it upon himself to chair the CHRF as an association. After the incident was discovered, the member cancelled the registration. Chung also said that during his term of office, at least two general meetings were held to discuss the registration issue, but the members believed that the registration was against the people’s freedom of association and decided not to register the CHRF as an association.
Chung said it was strange to be charged by the police with violating the law 15 years after the cancellation of registration. Another early backbone member, Choi Yiu-Cheong, said that in the early stage of its establishment, the members believed that the CHRF was a free civil communication platform and aimed to discuss, so there was no discussion of registration.
After 8 more months of the implementation of the National Security Law, Singapore’s United Morning Post quoted unnamed sources as saying on March 5 that the CFRF had been rumored on the Internet to have received funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to organize anti- Fugitive Offenders Ordinance activities. The Hong Kong authorities are investigating, and once this is confirmed, the CHRF may be banned by the Hong Kong government for violating the Hong Kong National Security Law.
The news which the CHRF might be banned for violating the National Security Law immediately triggered a wave of withdrawals. The Neighborhood and Worker’s Association, Civic Party, New Democratic Alliance, Professional Teachers’ Union (PTU), Hong Kong Association for Democracy, and People’s Livelihood (ADPL) are the first wave to withdraw. The HKPTU (3/14) and the Democratic Party, the largest political party in the democratic camp (3/17) were the followers. They all announced to terminate its participation in the work and meetings of the CHRF immediately.
But, the League of Social Democrats (LSD) stated on March 16th, saying that it would not pay attention to unsubstantiated news and would not accept unreasonable accusations, becoming the first political party to state that it would not withdraw from the CHRF. The LSD believes that there is no justification for the LSD to violate the Hong Kong version of the National Security Law. If the LSD does not meet the requirements of the Societies Ordinance, the LSD is also surprised that the Police Department has been handling processions and assemblies with organizations that may be considered illegal for 18 years.
The statement also said that if the authorities use trumped-up charges to suppress a platform for organizing lawful marches and rallies, they are undoubtedly depriving Hong Kong people of their freedom of association under Article 27 of the Basic Law, which is tantamount to closing the door on a peaceful and lawful way for the public to express their will.
The chairman of the League of Social Democrats, Wong Ho Ming, said in an interview with the Voice of America. Under the National Security Law, even like the CHRF may be banned by the authorities. This reflects that the National Security Law does not require sufficient evidence to be invoked at will. He fears that the CHRF may be “sacrificed to the flag” before the Communist Party’s centennial celebration on July 23rd this year.
The author of this article believes that the reason why the Chinese Communist Party wants to push through the National Security Law in defiance of the world is to keep Hong Kong, the financial lifeline, firmly in its hands, and is bound to eliminate all opposition and questioning voices in Hong Kong. The urgent thing to do is to break down all the camps and organizations of opponents in Hong Kong one by one after disintegrating them. Where there is a will to condemn, evidence will follow. And this move is undoubtedly also a move to solicit speculation. If the Western countries impose sanctions against the Hong Kong Communist government to strike, it will certainly cause a financial tsunami. But the reality is that the ravages of the CCP virus have not allowed the West to continue to be ambiguous. If anyone believes in the CCP, it must go into the crematorium!
Editor: Rica | Posted By: Rainbow
Originated Article: https://gnews.org/post/p1144266/
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