Date
20 July 2017
Activist Derek Chan complains that Chinese and other Asian prisoners are not allowed to take Western meals and he sees it as a form of racial discrimination. Photos: Internet, Apple Daily
Activist Derek Chan complains that Chinese and other Asian prisoners are not allowed to take Western meals and he sees it as a form of racial discrimination. Photos: Internet, Apple Daily

Activist files lawsuit against ‘meal discrimination’ in HK jails

Why is it that Western inmates are given better food than their local and Asian counterparts in Hong Kong prisons?

This is the gist of a petition for judicial review that a pro-democracy activist filed with the High Court on Tuesday.

In the petition, Derek Chan Tak-cheung, secretary general of the League of Social Democrats, complained that Chinese and other Asian prisoners are not allowed to take Western meals, which he said could be a form of racial discrimination and a violation of Article 25 of the Basic Law.

He said the servings and contents of Western and Chinese meals are considerably different.

For instance, Western lunch is much richer, consisting of a hamburger, vegetables, eggs, potatoes and milk tea.

On the other hand, a Chinese lunch only comprises congee, tea and a slice of bread.

Chan said the assignment of what kind of meals an inmate gets is done according to the prisoner’s skin color.

Based on his experience in prison, he said, those with “yellow skin” are given Chinese meals while Caucasians and black people get Western meals.

At present, Asians and other foreigners are separated while dining.

Chan called for the removal of the policy as it is discriminatory.

Chan served a three-week jail sentence in late April and May in Tong Fok prison after he was found guilty of common assault for throwing eggs at Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah during a public forum in December 2013.

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