HKFP Occupy one year on

A pro-Beijing group has demanded an apology from the Department of Justice (DoJ) for their recent mistakes, saying it lets people get away with offences too easily.

On Tuesday, the group, Justice Alliance Party, went to the office of the DoJ to hand in a letter of protest to the department.

“We feel that the DoJ plays an important part to defend rule of law,” they said in a statement released on Facebook, adding, “its performance [DoJ] made Hong Kong people feel rule of law has been hurt.”

The Justice Alliance Party protest at the Department of Justice.
The Justice Alliance Party protest at the Department of Justice. Photo: Facebook: Justice Alliance

“Many protesters arrested for Occupy Central last year have received lenient sentences or [were] proven not guilty,” the statement went onto say.

The Justice Alliance Party demanded the DoJ use stricter standards when picking professionals to represent the department and, with several hundred cases related to the pro-democracy protests still to go to court, they demanded the department provide clear dates of when these will take place.

Last week, the DoJ said they will make fresh applications for leave to commence contempt proceedings against 17 activists involved in last year’s pro-democracy Occupy protests. It comes after a DoJ procedural blunder has cost them nearly $3 million.

They also want to see appeal filed for the recent contempt of court case which saw Apple Daily and Sharp Daily fined a combined $550,000 after they published an interview with a murder defendant who was in prison and awaiting trial at the time.

Jat Sew-tong, the barrister representing DoJ in the contempt of court case of Apple Daily and the now-defunct Sharp Daily, said in court that the department did not ask for the newspapers’ management to be imprisoned. In the end the newspapers and the editors were just required to pay fines.

File Photo: Next Media Building
File Photo: Next Media Building.

The Justice Alliance Party also went to the headquarters of Next Media in Tseung Kwan O on Tuesday, where Apple Daily’s office is located. They protested against the company which, they said, “did not follow rules of the media or defend the spirit of fairness in reporting, breaking the law with untrue reports.”

They said they hoped the DoJ will not be biased, uphold the fairness of the law and hold Next Media to account.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.