Private bill intended to lift meeting restrictions

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 October, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 October, 1996, 12:00am

Democrat James To Kun-sun is to introduce a private member's bill in an effort to lift what he calls unnecessary restrictions on demonstrations and public gatherings.

Mr To said yesterday his proposed amendments to the Public Order Ordinance, to be tabled to Legco for a first reading on Wednesday, would aim to end the Police Commissioner's power to stop demonstrators using loud-hailers or loudspeakers in public places because of the contents of their speeches.

The legislator said such a power would contravene the Bill of Rights which guarantees the freedom of expression.

'But the proposed amendment will still allow the Police Commissioner to have the power to make demonstrators turn down the volume if the loudness of the noise causes nuisances,' he said.

Mr To also wants to end the requirement that the organisers should inform the police if they held political gatherings involving more than 500 people.

'I just don't understand why there's such a requirement for political gatherings only,' he said.

Mr To's same amendments were voted down in Legco two years ago.