Court to review police actions in gay rally

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 February, 2012, 12:00am


A gay-rights demonstrator received court permission yesterday to proceed with a judicial challenge to police actions during a rally against homophobia in May last year.

The man, identified only as 'T' in legal documents, was granted leave for judicial review on one legal issue in the Court of First Instance.

The case involves a demonstration organised by Amnesty International and an alliance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex groups on Sunday, May 15, to promote that week's International Day Against Homophobia.

The event took place in a pedestrian area of Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, and T was a participant.

In T's court filing, he said a part of the rally involved dancing and artistic expression in which about 18 volunteers took part. They danced and chanted slogans to air grievances.

Police stopped the performance because organisers had no licence under the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance, the filing said.

The Commissioner of Police has been named as the proposed respondent in the court case.

Mr Justice Johnson Lam Man-hon granted T permission to argue whether an area of open space where a political protest occurred should be considered a place of public entertainment under the ordinance.

'The sooner this matter is clarified by a court of law, the better it is for all,' the judge said. 'I know the pressure felt by the police on the front lines acting on instructions.' The case will be heard on April 25.

T did not appear in court for yesterday's hearing. He is a volunteer at the Tongzhi Community Joint Meeting, one of the co-hosts of last year's rally, the court filing said.