Police today (April 26) received a notification from a citizen that a public order event on Hong Kong Island scheduled on May 1 would be cancelled.
A Police spokesman said that it is Police’s statutory duty to manage public processions and meetings held in public places. In the interests of safeguarding national security, public safety, public order and protecting the rights and freedom of others, Police will adopt appropriate measures to ensure that public order events can be conducted in a legal, safe and orderly manner. Police will process all notifications of public processions and meetings in accordance with the established mechanism.
The spokesman added, Police received a notification from a citizen earlier that a public order event would be scheduled on Hong Kong Island on May 1. Police met with that citizen on April 21 to learn more about the arrangement for the public order event. Police emphasised that the public order event organiser should ensure that good order and public safety could be maintained and laws of Hong Kong could be complied throughout the event. The organiser is legally liable for the event. Police today received a notification from that citizen that the public order event on May 1 would be cancelled.
Under the Public Order Ordinance (Cap 245), the person who organised the public procession or meeting is required to maintain good order and public safety throughout the procession or meeting. Any person who knowingly contravenes, or allows any person to contravene, this requirement is liable to a maximum penalty of 12 months' imprisonment upon conviction.
The spokesman said it would be a responsible act for a public event organiser to cancel the event if he assessed that he was unable to comply with the above legislation. Any persons who continue to participate in an illegal public procession or meeting on Hong Kong Island on May 1 may commit the offence of “taking part in an unauthorised assembly” in accordance with the Public Order Ordinance, and on conviction, shall be liable to a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment. Police have zero tolerance for unlawful acts and will take resolute enforcement actions.
He reiterated, Hong Kong residents shall have freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly and of procession. At the same time, they must abide by the laws of Hong Kong while carrying out these activities.
Issued at HKT 19:11