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CSD's statement on its decision to reject application by person in custody for leave of absence to attend funeral
     In response to a report by Apple Daily today (May 5) that an application for a leave of absence to attend a funeral made by an individual person in custody (PIC) was rejected, and the criticism that the decision was not sympathetic and made out of political suppression, the Correctional Services Department (CSD) issued the following statement:

     The CSD upholds the principle of equality and handles applications for leave of absences from all PICs in accordance with the existing security mechanism. According to Rule 17 of the Prison Rules, the CSD takes into account different security factors in considering such applications, such as the offence(s) committed by the subject PIC, security risk, escort route, location safety, etc. It was noted that the date, time and location of the funeral have been extensively reported on social media platforms recently, and there were calls on the Internet for showing support at the scene on the day of the funeral. After a risk assessment, the CSD has decided to reject the application in order to protect the safety of correctional officers, the subject PIC and members of the public.
     The CSD offered its deepest condolences to the PIC on the loss of a family member, and is willing to render assistance through other viable means. In recent years, the CSD has been making its best efforts in the development of Smart Prison, with visual transmission as one of the major areas of this development. With such a development, the CSD has decided to enable funeral participation through visual means for the first time by utilising the relevant technology for consideration by the subject PIC. 
Ends/Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Issued at HKT 12:50
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