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An operational event at Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station on July 13 did not affect the plant's safe operation, the Security Bureau said today. During a routine inspection, station staff found that a ventilator in the electrical plant of the station's unit 1 was rotating in a reverse direction. They immediately rectified the ventilator's rotation direction according to the procedures. After the adjustment, it was confirmed that the ventilator had resumed normal function. The event did not affect the normal operation of the plant's equipment, and the unit remained in a safe condition. The bureau said the event was classified as a Level 0 deviation in accordance with the International Nuclear & Radiological Event Scale and relevant nuclear safety regulations, adding that it did not affect the unit's safe operation, workers' health, nearby public or the environment. Details of the event can be found on the Hong Kong Nuclear Investment Company's website.
It is part of a government official’s job to liaise with various sectors and the three officials who violated group gathering rules at a dinner had no reasonable suspicion that they were treated to a sumptuous meal. Addressing media questions today about the dinner incident, Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung said government officials have to keep in contact with different sectors as they need to know society’s views when formulating work strategies. He said officials must avoid and stay alert to lavish treatment, adding that had the trio known better, they would have handled the matter differently.
Secretary for Security Tang Ping Keung today said it is appropriate to maintain the threat of terrorist attacks faced by Hong Kong at the moderate level, and any decision to raise the threat level should be made with prudence. Mr Tang told legislators that the moderate level means there is a possibility of an attack but there is no specific intelligence suggesting that Hong Kong is likely to be a target. Police assessment shows that the chance of lone-wolf attacks under individual circumstances cannot be ruled out but there is currently no concrete intelligence indicating that such an attack will happen. Mr Tang said Police continually assess the situation and intelligence. Once specific and reliable intelligence is obtained, such as a terrorist organisation’s plan to launch an attack which poses a tangible threat to the public, the threat level would be raised to high based on the assessment. When that happens, an immediate alert will be made to the public and a series of escalated preventive measures may be required to stop the attack from happening, such as requiring security checks on personal belongings of all bus and MTR passengers or even closing some MTR stations. As for the airport, it may also be necessary to step up passenger luggage and incoming vehicle checks. As such, members of the public and travellers may be required to arrive at the airport three to five hours in advance. All these measures will inevitably bring inconvenience to the public. Given the wide impact, the decision to raise the threat level of terrorist attacks is a very prudent one, with safeguarding public safety being the prime consideration. Such a decision is made based on specific intelligence, as any hasty move may cause public inconvenience or even panic, the security chief added. Citing the lone-wolf attack on July 1 as a concrete example, Mr Tang pointed out that the attackers in the violent attack cases in Hong Kong in recent years have very often been affected by false information on the Internet and online messages for inciting violence and hatred. On the proposal to legislate against fake news, he said as the work involves many complicated and controversial issues, the Secretary for Home Affairs will seriously examine the experience and practices of other countries and places to provide reference for the next step of work.
The Government will gazette on July 16 the Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Bill 2021 that aims to combat doxxing acts that are intrusive to personal data privacy. The bill criminalises doxxing acts and confers on the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data statutory powers to issue cessation notices demanding the cessation or restriction of disclosure of doxxing content. It also strengthens enforcement against doxxing cases by conferring on the commissioner the power to conduct criminal investigation and institute prosecution for such cases. In drafting the bill, the Government had made reference to relevant laws of Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and other places. It also considered Hong Kong’s actual circumstances when drafting practicable amendment provisions. The Government reiterated that the legislative amendments this time only concern vicious doxxing acts and provide the commissioner with appropriate enforcement powers. The scope of the offence is clear, focused and target-specific. The bill aims to tackle doxxers who publish doxxing messages with an intent to cause harm or are being reckless as to whether harm is caused to the data subject. The Government also emphasised that the bill has already achieved a reasonable balance between protection of privacy and freedom of speech. The general public’s basic rights and freedoms as enshrined under the Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, including freedom of speech, flow of information and lawful news activities will not be affected. The bill requests electronic platforms to comply with the cessation notices so that doxxing contents intrusive to personal data privacy are removed early. This is to prevent further dissemination of personal data and minimise the harm caused to the victims, and the bill does not target service providers. As regards the Asia Internet Coalition’s letter to the commissioner expressing concerns on the bill, the Government said it noted that the coalition has clarified that none of its members currently have plans to retreat from Hong Kong. The commissioner has explained to the coalition the purpose and scope of the bill. Both parties agreed to keep strengthening communication to allay any concerns from the industry. The bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council for the first and second reading on July 21.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam today visited the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government (CPG) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Police National Security Department. During the visits, Mrs Lam, along with leaders of the respective offices, reviewed the effectiveness of the implementation of the National Security Law over the past year. She expressed gratitude to the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the CPG for its effective discharge of duty in accordance with the National Security Law under the leadership of Zheng Yanxiong, including overseeing, guiding, co-ordinating with and providing support to the Hong Kong SAR in its work in safeguarding national security. "The National Security Law has turned chaos to order and restored stability in Hong Kong society. Over the past year, national security awareness has gradually increased in Hong Kong, to which the CPG Office on National Security has made significant contributions. “I, on behalf of the Hong Kong SAR Government, express gratitude to the central authorities and the CPG Office on National Security." The Chief Executive also fully acknowledged the effective enforcement of the National Security Law by the Police National Security Department over the past year, noting that they have been taking up the responsibility of safeguarding national security steadfastly. "Safeguarding national security is an honourable and vital duty. As the national security risks in the Hong Kong SAR have not been completely eradicated, all of us are required to continue to discharge our duty to safeguard national security with profound courage and full confidence."
Chief Secretary John Lee today officiated at the Junior Police Call (JPC) Summer Camp launching ceremony held at a Jockey Club training camp in Lam Tsuen, Tai Po. Mr Lee was joined by Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung and Commissioner of Police Siu Chak-yee at the Hong Kong Award for Young People Jockey Club Duke of Edinburgh Training Camp. Themed “Be a Leader · Fight Crime Together”, the summer camp encourages young people to step out of their comfort zone, enhancing their resilience, team spirit and leadership skills and cultivating positive values through diversified training activities. It also promotes fight crime messages among the participants. Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Tang said the JPC scheme has devoted full efforts in nurturing youths to become future leaders, enhancing their law-abiding awareness as well as their sense of social responsibility. The scheme also plays a role in unleashing young people's potential, thereby contributing to society, he added. Between July and August, 15 adventure day camps will be held providing training to more than 1,200 JPC members and student leaders.
The National Security Law (NSL) came into effect on June 30 last year. All in all, Hong Kong has reverted to a safe, rational and inclusive society. In order to enhance the understanding of the NSL among the public, the Department of Justice held the National Security Law Legal Forum titled Security Brings Prosperity on July 5. The forum comprised keynote speeches highlighting the features and effects of the NSL, as well as three panel discussions. One of the panel discussions was conducted by four scholars to compare the national security laws of various jurisdictions. The four types of offence set out under the NSL are in fact similar to those in foreign countries. Some countries vest more drastic powers in their law enforcement agencies than those in Hong Kong under the NSL. A speaker even pointed out that there is a country which could put people, who are suspected of endangering national security, in detention without charge for two years. You are all welcome to review the forum on the department’s website to learn more about the NSL. On the night of July 1, a man attempted to murder a police officer on duty before committing suicide. Initial investigations by Police indicated that it is a lone wolf-style act of domestic terrorism. As the investigation is still ongoing, no one should comment on the case details. However, I would like to briefly explain some legal principles so that the public can have a proper understanding. Article 27 of the NSL specifies the offence of advocating terrorism. According to the opinion of a textbook on the NSL, advocating refers to the act of propagating, defending or glorifying the theory and practice of terrorism. On advocating terrorism, no one could use freedom of speech, of publication or of the press, etc, as an excuse to advocate or defend terrorist activities and such beliefs or theories, and must not promote or cheer for the mutual destruction slogans and propositions that would endanger the safety of public lives and properties or disrupt public order. In fact, many countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and France have already put in place relevant laws to prohibit advocating or glorifying terrorism. There is an assertion that only attacks targeting civilians are considered terrorism, whereas those targeting the authorities or law enforcement personnel do not constitute terrorism. However, one could easily tell, by making reference to the United Nations Security Council resolutions and anti-terrorism laws of different countries, that serious criminal acts, irrespective of their targets being civilians or any particular individual, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in order to compel a government, are regarded as terrorism. Such common sense is however distorted by some so-called scholars. It is truly disgraceful of those teachers to have misled their students and set a bad example. A number of people wrongly described criminal acts as heroic. Some even brought their children to express condolences by leaving flowers at the crime scene. There is also a student organisation expressing gratitude to the assailant. No sensible person would have agreed to glorify those criminal acts. Such perverse practices are immoral and confusing right from wrong. Let us imagine, what would be the consequence if terrorist activities have been imitated by others? Legally speaking, everyone should be prudent and make his or her remarks responsibly. No one should glorify or advocate terrorist activities. Morally speaking, no one should directly or indirectly advocate or heroise terrorism as it depraves society. I hope the above could raise the vigilance towards terrorist activities and advocacies of terrorism, so that people would not blindly believe in twisted facts against their conscience. I also wish that all of us appreciate the stability and prosperity brought about by the NSL. So, let us join hands together to achieve our common goal of Security Brings Prosperity. Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng wrote this article and posted it on her blog on July 10.
Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng inspected the passing-out parade for 33 probationary inspectors and 116 recruit police constables at the Police College today. While speaking at the ceremony, she encouraged the graduates to rise to challenges and strive ahead with perseverance, bravery and fortitude. Ms Cheng said citizens have a rising expectation towards the quality of public services as society has seen drastic changes in recent years, and Police have been under unprecedented challenges and tests in their work. Joining the force at this time has fully demonstrated the graduates’ determination, ability, commitment and willingness to serve the community as society’s future pillars, she added. Ms Cheng also noted that rule of law and national security are the cornerstones of ensuring Hong Kong’s long-term security and sustainable development. She explained that the Department of Justice and Police perform respective roles in upholding the rule of law and national security, as well as protecting public interest for the steady and enduring growth of “one country, two systems”. Ms Cheng remarked that national security tops the country’s priority, adding that the aspiration of “one country, two systems” is to uphold national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity. She stressed that the Government will strive to fully implement the legal system and enforcement mechanisms to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests. She said she hoped that all graduates could embrace Police’s vision in ensuring that Hong Kong remains one of the safest and most stable societies in the world.
Under Secretary for Security Sonny Au, Director of Immigration Au Ka-wang and Commissioner of Customs & Excise Hermes Tang today apologised for violating group gathering rules at a dinner. In response to media enquiries, the Security Bureau noted that the three officials made further clarifications on the incident. It stated that only three officials from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government attended the dinner. They were told by the host that it was being held in a private premises, and therefore they mistakenly believed that the venue fell outside the prohibition on group gatherings regulation. As the trio's work requires frequent communication with different sectors in the community, the dinner concerned was an ordinary social gathering and the food served consisted of normal hotpot ingredients. The three officials admitted that they were negligent and lacked sensitivity on the occasion, pledging that they will exercise particular caution when attending events in the future. The bureau also said Police found that several people had breached the regulation during an investigation of a criminal case, and emphasised that the three officials were not involved in the case. As the case's legal proceedings are in progress, further details will not be disclosed.
The Government today said it will not tolerate any act of harassment against judges while they are performing their judicial duties. In a statement, the Department of Justice said if there is any attempt to exert influence over court proceedings through despicable means, the Government will spare no effort in bringing the culprit to justice in order to safeguard the due administration of the judicial process and public peace. Responding to the persistent harassment against a judge while handling court cases, the department noted that Article 85 of the Basic Law stipulates that the courts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall exercise judicial power independently, free from any interference. It said harassment acts may constitute criminal offences, noting that under the Crimes Ordinance, anyone who threatens any other person with injury to him or her shall be guilty of an offence. The Summary Offences Ordinance points out that any person persistently making telephone calls without reasonable cause and for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to any other person commits a crime. Such acts may also be seen as perverting the course of justice. If an act creates a real risk of prejudice to court proceedings in that the public confidence in the due administration of justice is undermined, it may amount to contempt of court. These are serious offences that may attract a maximum sentence up to seven years’ imprisonment, the department said. In addition, any acts of harassment, personal attacks, insults and even threats against judges would severely undermine the authority of the courts and damage public confidence in the judicial system. The department said it is disgraceful to disrupt social order maliciously with an attempt to interfere with court proceedings. Offenders not only act in blatant defiance of the law and undermine the rule of law, but also break the law and must bear severe legal consequences, it added.