Liaison office of central gov't in HKSAR criticizes bar association chief for whitewashing violence, challenging rule of law

(Xinhua) 09:26, April 26, 2021

HONG KONG, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Sunday refuted fallacious remarks by the chair of the Hong Kong Bar Association (HKBA) Paul Harris, saying he backed up lawbreakers, slandered law enforcement agencies and put pressure on the judiciary.

Responding to the remarks made by Harris concerning a legal case of anti-China disruptor Jimmy Lai Chee-ying and others over unlawful assembly, a spokesperson in a statement said Harris used the term of "peaceful protest" to gloss over the illegal nature of the violent incidents which happened during the social unrest of 2019 in Hong Kong.

The sentences for Lai and others are based on clear facts and solid evidence, thus being recognized by various sectors of the Hong Kong society, and many of the defendants have pleaded guilty in court, the spokesperson noted.

The spokesperson said the remarks made by Harris went against professional ethics and the spirit of the rule of law.

While being keen on commenting on the Hong Kong affairs, Harris did not utter a word when the British government pushed for a legislation under which demonstrators who vandalized memorials could be jailed for up to 10 years, according to the spokesperson.

After becoming the HKBA chair, Harris has repeatedly made unwarranted remarks on the national security law in the HKSAR, challenging the authority of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress as well as Hong Kong's rule of law and constitutional order, the spokesperson said.

As the HKBA chair, Harris should himself comply with the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong", the spokesperson said while pointing out that Harris has served the interests of Britain's Liberal Democrats party, of which he is a member.

The spokesperson raised the question whether Harris, as an anti-China politician with close connections with foreign forces, can genuinely work for maintaining the rule of law and the HKSAR Basic Law and supporting "one country, two systems" as promised in an HKBA statement.

The Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor with Harris as a co-founder, according to media reports, has received donations from the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy, and Harris was suspected to have concealed his status as an Oxford city councilor when running for the HKBA chair, the spokesperson said.

It would be extremely ironic if Harris continued to serve as the HKBA chair, the spokesperson said.

Hong Kong's return from chaos to stability has demonstrated clearly that only by firmly safeguarding the constitutional order set by the Constitution and the Basic Law and implementing the national security law in the HKSAR and the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong," will Hong Kong's rule of law and its overall interests be well protected, the spokesperson said.

Any act to damage the rule of law and justice in Hong Kong and undermine Hong Kong's prosperity and stability will meet with strong counter measures, the spokesperson said while urging the HKBA to stop going down the path of politicization.

(Web editor: Guo Wenrui, Hongyu)


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