Real Hong Kong News
20th January, 2017
Hong Kong National Party Bar from Fair and Denied Legal Aid
After Food and Environment Hygiene Department (FEHD) terminated the tenancy of three Victoria Park Lunar New Year Market stalls including two related to Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) and Youngspiration, citing that HKNP’s pro Hong Kong independence stance poses great risk to public order and safety at the fair, today HKNP was denied legal aid for its application for election petition (challenging the September Legislative Council election results, in which the party’s Chairman Andy Chan Ho-tin was barred from standing for the election because of his political stance).
Chan stressed that the application for election petition must continue as it is of substantial public interest and directly affects Hongkongers’ right to stand for election enshrined in the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s “mini-constitution”. The Lunar New Year Market stall, according to Chan, was a way for the Party to raise fund for the legal fees involved.
Jason Chow Ho-fai, spokesperson of HKNP, bid the stall under his own name on 8/Nov and received a call from FEHD at 3pm on 17/Jan asking for a meeting at 5pm. Given the short notice, HKNP could not arrange a representative to meet with the FEHD. The termination letter was then sent to HKNP claiming that Chow’s close relationship with HKNP, a party that supports Hong Kong independence, will attract people opposing them to protest at Victoria Park and affect public order and safety.
Chan said that FEHD’s decision is not grounded as many political parties with a spectrum of political views have been, year after year, permitted to host their stalls and no violent incident or major conflict had ever been caused. He described the FEHD’s decision is an example of the HKSAR government suppressing “those who it is not pleased with”, which shows that the business environment in Hong Kong is under political suppression.
The Party is considering to write to US Senator Marco Rubio, who introduced the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act last November, and President-elect Donald Trump, asking them to consider reevaluating or amending United States-Hong Kong Policy Act.
Passion Times, an online media, contacted FEHD to enquire about HKNP and Youngspiration’s case. Instead of a response from the FEHD, which is the typical practice, the online media received a response from HKSAR Government’s spokesperson that is very similar to the termination letter issued by the FEHD.
At least one local Hong Kong publication reported that HKNP’s members were “too busy to meet with the FEHD”, leading the public to believe that the Party’s tenancy being terminated was a direct result of the Party’s failure to comply with procedures.)