A former Hong Kong Law Society chief wants the police to use “all means necessary” to maintain public order, including shooting rioters.
However, Junius Ho, now a Tuen Mun district councilor, says policemen should not target ordinary citizens, Apple Daily reports.
Ho told RTHK’s City Forum program that officers carry guns for a reason and these should be used when necessary to protect themselves and stop violence.
Asked by another guest, Lai Man-lok of student activist group Scholarism, if that means police can shoot citizens, Ho said they can shoot rioters but not citizens.
Policemen who faced violence from protesters in Mong Kok last week were too restrained, Ho said.
An officer who fired warning shots after clashes broke out during a police crackdown on illegal hawkers, was criticized for recklessness.
Ho said he understands young people’s frustrations over social issues but there is no excuse for violence.
Any attempt to rationalize it is dangerous, he said.
He called for harsh punishment for those involved.
Lai said the pro-establishment camp should take time to investigate what caused the clashes instead of jumping to conclusions.
Starry Lee, chairwoman of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, compared the violence to “cancer that must be killed”.
However, she said simply enacting a public security law is not enough to address social problems.
Article 23 of the Basic Law, which requires Hong Kong to implement laws against treason, secession and subversion, has been shelved since a massive protest in 2003.
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