Lawmaker demands release of radar records for detained Hongkongers
Police said that no Chinese coast guard vessels were found entering and staying in Hong Kong waters on Aug. 23, the day when a group of 12 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were caught by China marine officers when they sailed to Taiwan for political asylum.
Responding to media enquiries on Sunday, police said the Marine Regional Command and Control Centre had reviewed marine traffic records from the day but refused to release them to the public.
Pro-democracy lawmaker Eddie Chu slammed on Monday that the information given by the police was inadequate.
He urged the marine department to disclose the radar system information of coastal monitoring on the day of arrest, as more information would allow the detainees' families and Hong Kong people to get a fuller picture of the incident.
The 12 Hongkongers, aged 16 to 33, have been accused of illegally crossing the border and are reportedly held in Yantian, Shenzhen at the moment. Their family members gathered outside the police headquarters in Wanchai on Sunday, urging the authorities to disclose the latest condition of the detainees.
Chu also blasted Secretary for Security John Lee for saying that the 12 are allowed to choose lawyers from a list provided by mainland authorities, while several family-appointed lawyers were denied access to the detainees.
“It is impossible that the detainees are barred from meeting lawyers appointed by their families, or any ways that they can communicate with the outside world. What Lee said was against common sense,” Chu criticized.
The legislator worried that Lee’s remarks hinted at the Chinese government’s plan to detain the 12 people for a longer time.
As some of the detainees are holders of Portuguese or British National (Overseas) passports, Chu hoped the respective countries would speak out accordingly.
Eric Cheung, a principal law lecturer at the University of Hong Kong, believed that the family members could only rely on the Hong Kong government to persuade the central government, given the different legal systems in Hong Kong and China.
That said, Cheung stressed that everyone should be granted humanitarian protection as well as the right to a fair trial regardless of the charges.
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