Date
28 March 2017
The judicial review pertains to the arrest of five members of the Civil Human Rights Front after the July 1 march last year. Photos: HKEJ, TVB
The judicial review pertains to the arrest of five members of the Civil Human Rights Front after the July 1 march last year. Photos: HKEJ, TVB

Judicial review sought on police seizure of activists’ phones

A pro-democracy alliance has applied for a judicial review in connection with the confiscation by the police of mobile phones of several of its members last year.

In filing the case with the High Court, the Civil Human Rights Front said the judicial review could help define the extent of police authority, particularly with regard to the gathering of evidence, Apple Daily reported on Tuesday.

Police arrested five members of the alliance who joined a July 1 protest last year for allegedly failing to present a “letter of no objection” and obstructing officers from carrying out their duties.

Their mobile phones were taken by the arresting officers.

Johnson Yeung Ching-yin, former convenor of the group, said the seized phones contained a lot of personal data and the privacy of third parties could have been infringed.

After last year’s July 1 protest, members of the group, including Daisy Chan Sin-ying, Ivy Chan Siu-ping, Kitty Hung Hiu-han and Sammy Shum, were summoned to a police station. Their mobile handsets were subsequently confiscated for the purpose of gathering evidence.

Hung said she was shocked that the police took their mobile phones. “I believe they were after our network of contacts,” she said.

Hung said the police should have let her switch off the phone and take out the SIM card. She managed to seal her mobile phone on the advice of a lawyer.

Yeung said the Police Force Ordinance gives the police too much power with regard to investigation and gathering of evidence.

He said he hoped the judicial review will help protect the people’s privacy during police investigations.

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EL/AC/CG

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