Michael Davis & Tom Kellog on human rights and rule of law in HK & Stampede in Yau Ma Tei on 18th Nov
"Freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration” are guaranteed in Article 35 of the People’s Republic of China’s constitution. But ironically, on Wednesday, two Hong Kong media organisations, Apple Daily and Stand News, were barred from participating in a celebration of the 37th anniversary of the 1982 Chinese constitution which was attended by about 700 people including members of the press. Just a day before, Chief Executive Carrie Lam strongly criticised the United States’ new Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, calling it unnecessary and unreasonable. Hong Kong, she said, has press freedom and a high degree of other freedoms. With me to talk about rule of law and human rights in Hong Kong are Tom Kellogg, Director of the Georgetown Centre for Asian Law and Michael Davis, Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre and previously, professor in the Law Faculty at Hong Kong University.
Last Friday, the police finally returned control of the Polytechnic University campus to the institution’s management. The siege of the university campus lasted 12 days.
On the evening of 18th November, thousands of people gathered in areas near the PolyU campus in the hope of somehow diverting police attention from those holed up inside. Late that night, as police and protesters clashed in Yau Ma Tei, more than 213 people were arrested, and over 30 were injured and taken to hospital. Eyewitnesses, including firefighters, say at least one human stampede took place. Police say they saw nothing.