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Court decision on mask ban case is key to deterring violence: Experts
You are here: Home » News » News And Events » Court decision on mask ban case is key to deterring violence: Experts

Court decision on mask ban case is key to deterring violence: Experts

Views:64     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2019-10-09      Origin:CHINA DAILY

Influential figures in the legal and political sectors expressed their wish for a clear and unequivocal outcome in the first court case involving the breaching of the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation enacted last Friday.

The law that bans the wearing of masks in public assemblies is aimed at deterring radical protesters from committing violent crimes with their identities hidden behind face masks or other disguises.

Maria Tam Wai-chu, deputy director of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Basic Law Committee, said she hoped the court's decision on the case could help deter violence and send an important signal to the young radicals that those wearing masks during public gatherings would face legal consequences.

The essential intention of introducing the new law is to enhance deterrence, Tam said, adding that the newly enacted law will be effective in achieving that goal.

With the enactment of the law, parents and teachers also might put pressure on the young people, preventing them from violating the law, Tam added.

Lau Siu-kai, vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, said that charging violators showed the government's resolve to stem violence with more decisive and powerful actions.

In a phone interview with China Daily, Lau said he also believed the court would make an appropriate decision in the first case under the anti-mask law, as the judgement is of concern to the public interest because it could deter further violations.

A man and a woman who were arrested on one count of violating the regulation and one count of unlawful assembly in the early hours of Oct 5, had their cases heard in the Eastern Magistracy on Monday morning.
They were the first arrested under the newly-enacted, anti-mask law, which took effect on Oct 5.

The two were released on bail, but were required to submit their travel documents, observe curfew orders and report in person to the police station every week until their cases are heard again on Nov 18 at the Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts. 


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