Hong Kong Law & Crime Politics & Protest

Pro-democracy party chairman files judicial review over security zones during Chinese official’s visit

Nathan Law, the chairman of the pro-democracy party Demosistō, announced on Tuesday that he has applied for judicial review over the security zones drawn by the police during Zhang Dejiang’s visit in May.

Zhang is China’s third top official. He attended a Belt and Road summit at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Hong Kong.

“Everyone knows how big a situation it was when Zhang visited Hong Kong, it’s time to start slowly fighting with them,” said Law.

Nathan Law Kwun-chung

Nathan Law Kwun-chung. File photo: Stand News.

Some 8,000 police officers were mobilised during the official visit and around 200 water barricades were set up. Roads were blocked at places visited by Zhang and a nearby construction site halted its work. Glue was applied on pavement bricks to prevent them from being picked up and thrown whilst officers set up tents on Lion Rock to stop people from hanging protest banners.

The application for judicial review pertains to Article 27, which guarantees freedom of speech, association, assembly, procession and demonstration. It also pertains to Article 39, which declares that “the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents shall not be restricted unless as prescribed by law.”

zhang dejiang

Zhang Dejiang. File photo: StandNews.

Law said in his application that the security zones were unconstitutional because “without specifying the precise boundary of the Security Zone, [it] did not satisfy the ‘prescribed the law’ requirement, contrary to Article 39(2) of the Basic Law.” He also said that ‘the Security Zone Decision was a disproportionate restriction to the Applicant’s right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and demonstration,” as guaranteed by Article 27.

Law was sentenced to 120 hours of community service on Monday for inciting unlawful assembly. He stormed Civil Square in Admiralty prior to the pro-democracy Occupy protests in 2014. Law is running in the 2016 Legislative Council elections in September. The full list of candidates running in the election across districts and constituencies can be found here.

Pro-democracy party chairman files judicial review over security zones during Chinese official's visit