Parents' group loses appeal on rally ban

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 August, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 August, 2002, 12:00am

An independent board yesterday dismissed an appeal by abode seekers against a police decision to bar them from staging a rally involving 300 claimants and their relatives in Chater Garden, Central, last Sunday.

A parents' group lodged the appeal last Wednesday after being informed of the police ban.

The independent board, which could only be convened to hear the complaint yesterday, supported the police ban and dismissed the appeal.

Police told the group last week its request had been rejected because previous abode protesters had caused public disorder and hygiene problems at Chater Garden.

The force added that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department had also objected to the proposed rally as it had already granted another group permission to use the park on the requested day.

But the abode group said it was unreasonable for police to blame them for problems caused by another group that had staged a long-running protest before being cleared from the park on April 26.

A vice-chairman of the group, Ngan Siu-lai, last night said they were disappointed about the result of the hearing. 'It seems there is a collusion between the board and the police - it's unreasonable for them to arrange the hearing after the proposed date of our rally,' she said.

A Security Bureau spokeswoman dismissed the collusion claim and said every effort had been made to schedule an appeal hearing at the earliest date possible.

A police spokesman last night said the force welcomed and respected the board's decision.