Chinese uni 'independence' banners could be illegal, Ronny Tong says

Local | 6 Sep 2017 1:47 pm

Executive councillor and barrister Ronny Tong warned today that students at the Chinese University could have broken the law by putting up banners and posters advocating Hong Kong independence.

Large black banners strung up on the campus in Sha Tin on Monday were quickly pulled down by the university, but another appeared the following day along with new posters.

Tong said the use of particular words may not violate the law in itself, but the overall action could be illegal.

"There were student activities on the site, distributing pamphlets and there were other posters put up advocating the independence of Hong Kong. Such action has the risk of infringing section 9 of the Crimes Ordinance which provides that if any publication is published with seditious intent then it may well be an offence.”

Tong added that freedom of speech is not absolute.

On Tuesday, university officials warned students their talk of independence was a breach of the Basic Law and the institution’s own rules.

But the student union described the action as a demonstration of freedom of speech and vowed to stop the university from removing a banner flying in an area of the campus under the union’s management. -RTHK

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