Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) Convener Andy Chan was told on Tuesday that the Secretary for Security was considering banning his group. The secretary’s deliberations were based on a 700+ page dossier on the pro-independence party. Chan was sent a copy of the papers, and published it online. HKFP has compiled a summary.
The documents Chan received began with a 2-page letter from the Secretary for Security.
The letter, dated July 17, stated that the Security Bureau received a recommendation to prohibit the operation of HKNP. As per the Societies Ordinance, the Secretary for Security would give HKNP an opportunity to make its case within 21 days.
Part 2: Rebecca Lam’s letter
The recommendation to ban the party was made by Assistant Police Commissioner Rebecca Lam who, for the purposes of the Societies Ordinance, was acting as an “assistant societies officer.” She wrote a 165-page letter to the Secretary for Security explaining her recommendation.
Lam began by stating her position.
Most of the letter described HKNP’s nature, beliefs and activities, with the help of supporting evidence included in appendixes. Chan – abbreviated as “CHT” in the documents – was one of the two named members of HKNP, with the other being spokesperson Jason Chow.
Lam acknowledged that the ban would raise human rights concerns. However, she argued that it would still be permissible because it would satisfy the legal test laid down by courts.
As part of her legal argument, Lam explained why she felt the prohibition was necessary stating that HKNP took “concrete actions to promote and push for the independence of Hong Kong.”
Lam added that the government could prohibit the operation of a group even if there was no imminent threat of violence.
She concluded by saying there was an “overriding public interest” in banning HKNP.
Part 3: Event log
The remaining 708 pages were records of public statements and actions by Chan and HKNP, arranged in chronological order.
The log included 51 items, stretching from the establishment of the HKNP in March 2016 to Chan’s attendance at a public meeting in May 2018.
The items were divided into five types:
- HKNP Facebook posts, captured via screenshots.
- HKNP publications replicated in full. All three existing issues of Comitium were included.
- HKNP street booths, as announced on the HKNP Facebook page or, in one instance, via an after-action police report.
- Text and video news reports on HKNP, replicated or transcribed in part.
- Chan’s comments at press conferences, interviews, radio programmes, television programmes, forums and public events. All comments were transcribed in full. Transcripts also recorded additional details, and sometimes comments by other participants.
While detailed, the dossier nevertheless omitted certain public statements by Chan and HKNP.
Hong Kong police routinely deploy uniformed and plainclothes officers to monitor the public events of independence advocates. In recent years, those officers have been equipped with video cameras. However, most of the materials in the event log were sourced from the public domain.