Date
30 March 2017
From May 1, all visitors to Legco will undergo mandatory X-rays and metal detector checks. Photo: legco.gov.hk
From May 1, all visitors to Legco will undergo mandatory X-rays and metal detector checks. Photo: legco.gov.hk

Legco defies criticism, clamps tough security measures

A legislative panel will implement tough security measures despite criticism these will alienate the public.

From May 1, all visitors to the Legislative Council building will undergo mandatory X-rays and metal detector checks, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.

Also, they will be required to register.

Pro-government legislators are backing the measures but most Hongkongers are against the idea, saying it imposes too many restrictions on the public.

Opponents include pan-democrat lawmakers and the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA).

Lawmakers, staff and reporters who hold Legco passes are exempt from the security checks under normal circumstances.

However, they will be required to go through the enhanced procedure during a security alert.

In addition, Legco will limit passes for legislators’ assistants to 15.

Surveillance cameras with voice recording will be installed outside the building in an area reserved for public assemblies.

Legco President Jasper Tsang dismissed privacy concerns, saying the recording will pick up only loud voices.

He said steel gates will be installed at the Tim Mei Ave. entrance and glass doors will have roller shutters.

The measures are supported by more than 40 legislators. Twenty-two pan-democrats signed a petition against the proposal in March, Tsang said.

Civic Party legislator Chan Ka-lok, who was on the panel that drafted the proposal, called the measures “stupid”, saying they don’t guarantee security but instead alienate the public.

HKJA chief Sham Yee-lan said the measures will hinder media workers, especially photo journalists, and urged Legco to reconsider them.

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TL/AC/RA

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