At least seven former chairmen of the Hong Kong Bar Association (HKBA) will take part in a “black” protest on Friday to dramatize their opposition to China’s policy on Hong Kong under “one country, two systems”.
Martin Lee and Denis Chang are among the seven who will walk from the Supreme Court in Admiralty to the Court of Final Appeal in Central, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.
The silent protest starts at 5 p.m., with the marchers wearing black to highlight their opposition to a white paper issued recently by the State Council, which says the central government has absolute control over Hong Kong and is the source of its promised high degree of autonomy.
HKBA has issued a statement voicing concerns over a provision in the white paper that categorizes judges and judicial officials as administrators and therefore subject to Chinese patriotic standards. The group said the requirement compromises Hong Kong’s judicial independence.
Former legislator Audrey Eu said she doubts if lawyers who have business dealings in the mainland will turn out on Friday but urged fellow legal practitioners to reflect on their sworn duty to uphold justice.
Prominent barrister Lawrence Lok has said the white paper is ridiculous and does not make sense when it requires judges to be loyal to the country and the Communist Party.
Incumbent HKBA chairman Paul Shieh said he will not participate in the protest and will stay neutral. However, he said he voted in the June 22 mock referendum on electoral reform organized by a pro-democracy group.
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