Hong Kong Law & Crime

Hong Kong activist takes legal action after district council’s refusal to discuss Tiananmen massacre

Demosisto member Derek Lam filed a judicial review on Thursday after the Central and Western District Council chairperson refuses to allow the Democratic Party’s Ted Hui to submit discussion papers on the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.

Lam seeks to challenge District Council Chair Yip Wing-shing’s decision to veto a motion submitted by Hui on May 10. Yip also refused to allow discussion or call for a vote on the motion.

Accompanied by Hui, Lam lodged the legal challenge as a resident of the district.

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Ted Hui (Left) and Derek Lam (Right). Photo: Apple Daily.

Hui said that he had submitted discussion documents to the current and previous district council sessions, but was refused each time.

Lam told HKFP that they are challenging the rationale given by Yip as being unreasonable: “Yip said that the motion should be rejected because it had not been allowed by the previous council.”

Lam also said that Yip refused to discuss the subject at district council meetings because it was “a political issue.” However, the council had previously discussed the White Paper, with Lam questioning why there was a double standard.

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Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP remix.

The Tiananmen massacre occurred on June 4, 1989 ending months of student-led demonstrations in China. It is estimated that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people died when the People’s Liberation Army was deployed to crack down on protesters in Beijing.

Lam said Yip has gone beyond the scope of his powers and made an unlawful decision. He said he hoped the court will define what the scope is.

The legal team told Hui that there has yet to be a successful case of a member of the public, or a district councillor, being able to proceed with a legal challenge against the decision of a district council chairperson. Hence, the filing of the writ carries a symbolic significance, Apple Daily reported Hui as saying.

Hui also said that district councils have long been dominated by the pro-establishment camp and lacked supervision from the public and pro-democracy camp. He said he hoped that the case would serve as a warning to the pro-Beijing party. “The exercise of their powers is still regulated and restricted by the law.”

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Hong Kong activist takes legal action after district council's refusal to discuss Tiananmen massacre