Date
29 March 2017
Paul Shieh (Left, seen in a file photo) is representing a retired news photographer in a lawsuit that seeks a ban on the use of mass media to push the government's political reform proposal. Photos: HKEJ, HK Government
Paul Shieh (Left, seen in a file photo) is representing a retired news photographer in a lawsuit that seeks a ban on the use of mass media to push the government's political reform proposal. Photos: HKEJ, HK Government

Lawsuit seeks ban on govt’s 2017 universal suffrage ads

Former Hong Kong Bar Association chairman Paul Shieh on Wednesday filed a lawsuit on behalf of a retired news photographer, seeking a ban on government radio and TV campaigns related to the 2017 electoral reform proposal.

As the “2017, Make it happen” advertisement series contains political elements, it should be blocked from mass media channels, Sheih said, according to Ming Pao Daily News.

The Communications Authority should ban the airing of those ads, Shieh argued on behalf of his client, the report said.

The lawsuit also urges that Patrick Nip, Director of Information Services, be barred from providing such advertisement materials to media outlets for broadcast.

Shieh’s client, retired news photographer Cheung Tak-wing, criticized the government’s promotion of its political reform proposal, saying the campaign is biased and lacks impartiality.

“The ad only talks about one person one vote, but it did not touch on the formation of the 1,200-strong nomination committee,” said Cheung.

Ordinary people won’t have the knowledge or expertise to understand the implications of the electoral reform proposal, he said in his complaint.

Cheung is seeking legal assistance from the government but is yet to get the green light.

The retired news photographer complained that while citizens or political organizations are not allowed to run advertisements with political content, the government is exempted from such restrictions under the Broadcast Ordinance.

The double standards violate freedom of speech under the human rights ordinance and the Basic Law, he said.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

EL/AC/RC

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