Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LC: Speech by S for S in moving the Resolution to Amend the Immigration (Treatment of Detainees) (Amendment) Order 2010

     Following is the speech (English translation) by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, in moving the Resolution to Amend the Immigration (Treatment of Detainees) (Amendment) Order 2010 today (April 15):


     I move that the Immigration (Treatment of Detainees) (Amendment) Order 2010, be amended as set out in the agenda.

     To enable the Correctional Services Department (CSD) to transfer the management duties regarding the Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre (CIC) to the Immigration Department (ImmD) starting from the middle of this month, the Government had tabled on February 24, 2010 four amendment orders to the relevant subsidiary legislation. The Prisons (Amendment) Order 2010 discontinues the use of CIC as a "prison" under CSD's management. The replacement, i.e. the Immigration (Places of Detention) (Amendment) Order 2010 specifies CIC as a "place of detention" to be managed by ImmD, thus enabling the continued accommodation in CIC of persons required or authorised to be detained by or under the Immigration Ordinance. The Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 2) Order 2010 provides for the continued exemption from the smoking ban for the designated smoking areas in CIC. Lastly, the Immigration (Treatment of Detainees) (Amendment) Order 2010 provides that the Immigration (Treatment of Detainees) Order shall apply to CIC. It also adds two provisions. One is to allow detainees to smoke in the designated areas and the other to allow Justices of the Peace (JPs) to visit detainees.

     The Legislative Council subsequently set up a Sub-committee to scrutinise the four amendment orders. In the course of scrutiny, the Sub-committee proposed that the provisions in the Immigration Service (Treatment of Detained Persons) Order, currently applicable to the Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre (MTKDC), should also be made to apply to CIC in the form of subsidiary legislation. We accepted the proposal of the Subcommittee.

     I wish to reiterate that MTKDC is for short-term detention of persons pending charges or trial. These persons are normally detained for less than 48 hours. On the other hand, persons detained in CIC are in general released prisoners, illegal immigrants or overstayers pending removal. The functions of, as well as the kind of detainees at, the two centres are basically different. Nevertheless, we understand Members' concern over the statutory protection for detainees and accept Members' view.

     President, today I move that all applicable provisions in the Immigration Service (Treatment of Detained Persons) Order be added to the Immigration (Treatment of Detainees) Order. They will set out the treatment of CIC detainees, including the arrangements regarding the notification to relatives, communication with legal advisers, food and drink, etc. As we pointed out to the Subcommittee earlier, in addition to the protection provided under the subsidiary legislation, the CIC Operational Manual will set out clearly the detailed arrangements regarding detainees' treatment. The contents of the Operational Manual will be made available for reference by the detainees and the general public, unless their disclosure should be withheld on security ground or because they relate to CIC's internal operations.

     I sincerely thank all Members of the Sub-committee for their valuable views and for their support for the amendment resolution. I hereby also call upon other Members' support to the amendments.

     Thank you, President.

Ends/Thursday, April 15, 2010
Issued at HKT 16:11


Print this page