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The Department of Justice today said Secretary for Justice Paul Lam has launched a facebook page to reach out to different sectors of the community and enhance communication with the public. People are welcome to visit his facebook page, the department added.
Police today launched another round of Let's T.A.L.K. - Child Protection Campaign to promote the importance of early intervention in child abuse cases. Themed Bystander Intervention this year, the campaign will run until November 20. Addressing the opening ceremony, Commissioner of Police Siu Chak-yee said the number of child abuse cases reported in the first eight months of the year is similar to the figures for the same period in 2021, but the emergence of some serious child abuse cases has aroused concern. He emphasised that Police attach great importance to child protection and have been continuously reviewing and improving the handling procedures for child abuse cases over the past year. In addition to setting up the Vulnerable Witness Support Cadre in July, the force has strengthened staff training and enhanced collaboration with different stakeholders with a view to protecting children and the vulnerable from abuse and harm. The legislation on establishing a mandatory reporting mechanism of child abuse cases has also been speeded up and the consultation will start in November, Mr Siu added. During the campaign, Police will hold an array of activities including mobile exhibitions on two themed trams, enhancement of the child protection one-stop application and a new series of animations to provide practical information on child protection. The department will also organise art workshops and badge design competitions for senior primary students, as well as social experiments to call on the public to come forward when encountering child abuse cases instead of being a bystander.
The Chief Executive’s Office today reiterated its warning to the public to be extra vigilant against deceptive online advertisements purported to be interviews with the Chief Executive and urged people not to believe fake information. In a press statement, it said it recently noted more deceptive online advertisements and webpages carrying the Chief Executive’s name and news photos, luring users to click and leading them to suspicious transaction platforms. The office strongly clarified that it has never issued or authorised such advertisements, adding that the Chief Executive has never conducted the interviews as claimed by the adverts and the remarks therein are all fictitious. It urged the public not to visit any suspicious websites via those advertisements or provide personal information to unknown websites. The incident has been reported to Police for investigation.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today expressed strong disapproval of a United Nations official’s recent remarks on a Hong Kong court case concerning the National Security Law. The remarks were made by a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights about the Hong Kong court’s reasons for the sentence delivered on October 8 in regard to a case of conspiracy to incite the commission by other persons of the offence of subversion under the National Security Law, the Government said in a press release. As the legal proceedings are yet to be completed, it would not be appropriate to comment on the details of the case, it explained. Stressing that the principles of human rights protection must be observed when safeguarding national security, the Government noted that human rights, as well as the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights are enshrined in the National Security Law. It further elaborated that Article 4 of the National Security Law provides that human rights shall be respected and protected in safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong SAR, and Article 5 affirms adherence to the rule of law while enforcing the law against offences endangering national security. “The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal has pointed out that these two articles are centrally important to the interpretation of the National Security Law generally.” The National Security Law was enacted to restore the enjoyment of rights and freedoms that citizens had been unable to enjoy during the period of serious violence between June 2019 and early 2020, the Government reiterated. “The National Security Law has indeed achieved the intended effect, and has swiftly and effectively restored stability and security,” it added.
The Immigration Department today expressed regret over a misleading commentary published by Ming Pao yesterday on the department's handling of the screening of trafficking in persons (TIP) cases. The department stressed that it attaches great importance to the fight against TIP and has all along been conducting TIP initial screening with vulnerable people who are arrested or who put themselves forward to the authorities, including illegal workers, illegal immigrants, sex workers and foreign domestic helpers, by adopting the same standard and definition as stipulated in the Palermo Protocol. If there is any TIP indicator revealed during the initial screening, its officers will conduct a full investigation and identification process to ascertain the presence of TIP elements. Identified victims will be provided with appropriate protection and support. In response to the commentary stating that TIP screening on detainees at Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre has not been conducted, the department pointed out that the centre is actually a detention centre for those awaiting deportation/removal or claimants awaiting final determination of their torture claims. The majority of detainees are people previously arrested for immigration offences and those pending deportation/removal to their country of origin. The department had earlier conducted TIP initial screening arrangements on them in accordance with the mechanisms. It has all along strictly followed the established detention policies, and in accordance with the relevant legal requirements and legal principles established by the court. According to the prevailing detention policies, while determining whether an individual should be detained, the department will consider all the facts and circumstances of a particular case. The mere presence of a particular factor does not automatically lead to detention or release. The factors listed in the detention policies are not meant to be exhaustive or in any order of priority or weight. The department added that it will conduct regular and timely review of each detention case in accordance with the prevailing mechanisms.
Police arrested more than 3,500 people and seized cash, dangerous drugs and illicit goods, amounting to $380 million in total, during an anti-crime joint operation with Guangdong and Macau counterparts. Codenamed “THUNDERBOLT 2022”, the tripartite operation was conducted in two phases, from May 20 to July 4 and from September 13 to 30. During the operation, Hong Kong Police conducted searches with various departments at about 5,500 locations covering bars, amusement game centres, cyber cafes, party rooms and residential units. A total of 3,581 people, aged between 11 and 94, were arrested for triad-related and drug-related offences, from wounding and arson to trafficking in dangerous drugs and money laundering. Among the arrestees, 179 were Mainlanders and 277 were non-ethnic Chinese. Hong Kong Police also seized frozen meat worth over $4 million, as well as dangerous drugs and psychotropic drugs worth about $340 million in total. The intelligence-led enforcement operation aimed at curbing illegal activities of triad societies and organised crime syndicates, neutralising cross-boundary crimes, and interdicting the criminals’ sources of income.
The Food & Environmental Hygiene Department and Police will start stringent enforcement actions in all districts across the city to step up tackling the problems of illegal shop extension and obstruction from today. The department made the announcement and explained that to address such a problem, it, along with Police, launched a trial scheme since September last year in Eastern, Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, Sham Shui Po, Tsuen Wan and Yuen Long districts. Under the scheme, apart from stepping up efforts to prosecute offenders, Police will exercise their statutory powers in removing obstructions and require the goods owners to remove the obstructed articles within a specified time. If the goods owners fail to observe the directions given by Police, the department will arrange to remove the obstructions which were placed in public places including the roadside and carriageways. In addition to launching over 316 joint operations, a total of 1,537 fixed penalty notices or summonses against obstruction in public places and for cleanliness offences were issued, the department pointed out. Moreover, 342 warning notices, which required the owners of the articles to remove the obstruction within the specified time, were also issued. Among these, 65 warning notices had yet to be complied with upon expiry of the specified time limits. As a result, the department removed about 16.8 tonnes of goods or articles involved, most of which have been ordered by the court to be confiscated. The Government noted that in analysing the figures of complaints and enforcement, the views received from local stakeholders and observations on the actual situation in the six districts, is that the trial scheme has been effective in tackling the problem of shop front extensions as well as improving the cityscape. Also recognising that the joint enforcement mode of the department and Police could effectively combat the problem of shop front extensions, the District Matters Co-ordination Task Force has approved that starting from this month, the relevant enforcement mode will be gradually adopted in all districts across Hong Kong. The Government urged shop operators and other stakeholders not to extend business areas illegally by placing goods or articles in public places or on carriageways causing obstructions to pedestrian and vehicular flow. The task force earlier said that in entering the second month of the Government Programme on Tackling Hygiene Black Spots, the main focus is to combat hygiene black spots with illegal shop front extensions leading to street obstruction.
Police's Anti-Deception Co-ordination Centre (ADCC) today launched a subscription service on its website for the public to receive new scam alerts by email. To subscribe to this new service that aims to enhance people’s anti-deception awareness, citizens can scan the QR code or click here and fill in basic personal information including their email address. Upon subscription, the system will automatically send scam alerts to subscribers' registered email address once new alerts on the latest defrauding tricks are uploaded to the website. The public can also subscribe to certain types of scam alerts according to their needs. Launched in April last year, the ADCC website has recorded a hit rate of over 77 million, according to the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer.
The Correctional Services Department announced that it launched its official WeChat account today to disseminate information on custodial work, rehabilitation and community education programmes. The WeChat account was rolled out to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s establishment and the 40th anniversary of the renaming of the Prisons Department as the Correctional Services Department, it said. This is the department’s latest official social media platform in addition to its YouTube and Facebook pages. Apart from providing another channel for Hong Kong citizens to learn more about the department’s work and development, the WeChat account also reaches Mainland residents with a view to strengthening connections and interaction between the two places, the department added. Look up “HKSARCSD” on WeChat or scan the QR code to follow the account.
One more Hong Kong resident who had sought help from the Immigration Department is returning to Hong Kong from Thailand, the Security Bureau said today. The assistance seeker returned to the city with the aid of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Chinese Embassy in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Chinese Embassy in the Kingdom of Thailand, the bureau’s dedicated task force and the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in Bangkok. So far, 17 assistance seekers have returned to Hong Kong under the task force’s co-ordination. The bureau urged people to contact the Immigration Department as soon as possible if they know or have received information of victims in need of help. They may use the WhatsApp hotline 5190 8909, contact the department’s Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit at (852) 1868, call the 1868 hotline by network data via the department’s mobile app or submit an Online Assistance Request Form.