• Wed
  • Oct 1, 2014
  • Updated: 3:19am
NewsHong Kong
PUBLIC ORDER

Pro-police rally in Mong Kok not political, force says

Mong Kok event was not an activity bound by rules that govern officers’ behaviour, police say in a row over the presence of a retiring officer

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 August, 2013, 4:12pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 August, 2013, 10:09am

A pro-police rally that descended into chaos in Mong Kok on Sunday was not a political event, the police force has concluded.

In a statement yesterday, it also empathised with what frontline officers had to put up with in discharging their duties.

The police respect people's right of expression, and at the same time, expect people would grant their respect and support to the frontline police officers

Separately, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor voiced their support for the force.

The police statement came after a retiring superintendent took part in the rally, held after a teacher was filmed hurling abuse at officers on July 14.

But the police definition of what constituted a political rally, which was repeated at a meeting between the senior management and four police associations, met with reservations from members of the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC).

In its statement, the force said that as officers on pre-retirement leave were not authorised to discharge constabulary duties, their views and deeds in general would not interfere with the impartial discharge of police duties.

An officer shall not take part in political activities, which include lending support to or joining in the political activities of a political organisation, and speaking publicly on matters of a political nature other than in the course of official duties, it said. Based on the information available, the force considered the rally was not a political activity restricted by the general orders that governed officers' behaviour.

"The police respect people's right of expression, and at the same time, expect people would grant their respect and support to the frontline police officers," it said. "The force management understands the frontline officers' sentiments of being insulted by abusive languages in the course of discharging duties, and believe many people share the same sentiments."

Leung said the police would take "resolute and effective actions" according to law against people who deliberately obstructed officers.

Lam said she understood how frontline officers felt as her niece was a police inspector.

Alpais Lam Wai-sze, the teacher who sparked the Mong Kok rally, said she did not understand why the police did not regard it as political.

IPCC secretary general Ricky Chu Man-kin had earlier said the rally was of a political nature, and yesterday council member Eric Cheung Tat-ming said he had reservations about the police decision.

Legislator Albert Chan Wai-yip, who was among protesters against the rally, said the definition "distorts the common understanding of a political event".

By last night, the force said it had received 590 complaints over the officer who spoke at the rally.

 

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

45

This article is now closed to comments

hard times !
of course it was a politcal gathering-------co-hosted by the 'Hong Kong Action' organisation which its introduction of itself ( on Facebook earlier but now changes after the August 4th rally ) claimed that it is a political organisation.A rally hosted by a poliitical organisation is definitely a rally of political type.The fact is undeniable ! Shame on those who claim that the August 4th rally was not a political one where more than one local political groups took part in---the People's Power of Chan Wai-yip, the group of lawmaker,Maddog Wong and ...
daniel18
It is absolutely the right time for police come out to combat those who always are fond of breaking the law and order in our society! If I were Lam wai sze parent, I would have slapped her face in front of hkers and apologized for her stupidity! Police must help us eradicate such radical act ppl! Police, we stay with you and support u strongly! Without Police, our society will be into mess by radical political parties which have financial support from the US and the UK! I also hope that tranparency as to how political parties get financial support should be illustrated so that we can unveil the mask of such evil parties and their evil plot!
henleyhk
Wow! Can't wait to live in your world!
Dai Muff
"It is absolutely the right time for police come out to combat those who always are fond of breaking the law and order in our society!" We agree. Let's start with the Youth Care Association who are trying to interfere with freedom of religion enshrined in the Basic Law. .
stoatmonster
test
req
The police should bat her across the face with a baton and blasted her with pepper spray.
henleyhk
Shame on you!
Dai Muff
I have little doubt many of them think so.
CadenHK
The teacher obviously has gone overboard. Firstly, she broke through a police cordon and shouted at the officers why she couldnt enter into. If a sounded person with common knowledge would have known that a police cordon means barring people from getting in so as to avoid disturbing police works. And for me, I dont see any reason why police officers have to explain to the teacher 'why' she cant break in. Instead, it should be the police asking the teacher why she broke in.
Secondly, well, ok, let assume that police may have done something wrong in handling with the two conflicting groups, if the teacher really thought police have done something wrong ,she should have gone to Complaint Against Office to lodge a complaint, it is why the office was set up. She shouldnt shout abuse at the police in a bid to force the police do what she wanted. She is not a security expert but a primary school teacher and I assume she will not know how to deal with conflict as much as those profeessionally trained officers.
Thirdly, no matter how much she disagrees with the police's handing, she shouldnt insult police. A person can hate, dislike and ignore someone you dont like, but you have no right to verbally abuse people. Especially she is a teacher.
Fouthly, many people who favor what the teacher did said that swearing isnt a big deal since it is most people's habit. Yes, I do agree and swearing isnt a sin and illegal, but it all depends on when, where, under what circumstance
henleyhk
Free speech may have its ugly side; but, without free speech do we really have anything worth having?

Pages

 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or