HK lawmakers urge Lam to pass anti-mask law
By Chen Qingqing and Bai Yunyi in Hong Kong Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/3 16:16:53
A major political group, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), renewed their call for the passing of the anti-mask law amid widespread rampage across the city.
Over the past months, the freedom of Hong Kong has been jeopardized by continuous protests that have turned violence, as rioters wearing masks disrupted transport, forced business shutdowns, seriously affecting retail, tourism, restaurants and investment, Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan, a pro-establishment lawmaker, told a press conference on Thursday at the LegCo building.
"Such a critical situation not only affects the livelihood of local residents, but also the future of Hong Kong. We have received many complaints from residents that they could not tolerate such rampage anymore," she said.
The DAB, along with representatives from various sectors, including the political, legal and business circles as well as retired police and public servants, would soon come up with a working group to push forward the law.
The rampage across Hong Kong on Tuesday has led the city into chaos, as rioters damaged public property, started fires, threw corrosive liquids at police officers and hurt journalists, attacked police and civilians with Molotov cocktails and other weapons. Such riots have led to more than 100 casualties, with two in serious condition.
In many countries, governments pass anti-mask law to end riots. And Hong Kong authorities need to pass the law to end illegal gatherings and violence, the lawmaker said.
"We know the anti-mask law cannot solve all the problems, but it is a very important step forward," she added.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government is now considering passing the law by citing the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, considering continuous riots across the city, local media reported. And it is highly likely that Carrie Lam would shortly hold an executive council meeting to pass the law.
And it has reached the last period for preparing related legislature works, the reports said.
Forbidding people from wearing masks will not suppress people's freedom of speech, as this law applies to people marching illegally and acting violent, and are specifically aimed at rioters, according to representatives.
The working group will also take the anti-mask law in Canada as reference, they said.
When asked whether the HKSAR government should also enact the curfew to stop the riots in the city at such critical moment, Quat said it has the responsibilities to use every measure to stop the violence.
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