15 prominent pro-democracy leaders and lawmakers were arrested in April and charged for participating in unlawful assemblies last year. Yet most of them are advocates of peaceful assembly and only showed up in rallies with the police’s approval. Protests are defined as unlawful when the letter of no objection from the police is not present, and also when the corresponding marching route, assembly area or demonstration duration do not coincide with those in the application. In Hong Kong, these regulations become a loophole which the power exploits to put juridical pressure on dissents and dissidents. In this session, we will talk about the ambiguity of demonstration regulations and its impact on freedom of speech and self-censorship.
Photo credit to Tom Stanka