Activist Ken Tsang has been handed a written warning from Hong Kong’s regulatory board for social workers over a instance of misconduct, a source with knowledge of the matter has told HKFP.

Tsang, who formerly worked in youth outreach, was jailed for five weeks earlier this year for pouring liquid over police officers and resisting arrest during the 2014 Occupy protests. He was beaten by seven police officers shortly after the incident.

A Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) disciplinary panel had previously recommended the suspension of his licence for six months, but the body was unable to reach a consensus on the actual punishment during two meetings in June and August, until Monday night.

Ken Tsang. File Photo: HKFP/Ellie Ng.

Last year, a pro-Beijing social worker filed a complaint against Tsang to the SWRB, arguing that his conviction constituted professional misconduct.

SWRB guidelines state that a registered social worker has committed a disciplinary offence if they have been convicted in Hong Kong, or elsewhere, of any criminal offence punishable with imprisonment “which may bring the social work profession into disrepute.”

SWRB Chairman Lun Chi-wai said members reached a preliminary result and discussion over the case had ended. The result will be sent to the accused and the complainant. He added that the result will not be made public at this stage as both parties could file an appeal.

Lun Chi-wai.

The source told HKFP that the SWRB ruled at the Monday meeting that a written warning will be handed to Tsang.

Outside the meeting, Tsang said that the SWRB has seven government appointed members and eight elected members – him being one of the elected members.

“This suppression is not an individual incident – our team of elected SWRB members will try our best to defend fellow social workers, so that no one will be stripped of their registrations owing to political suppression,” he said.

He said he had to avoid attending the part of meeting discussing him, but he was allowed to join the rest of the meeting. He said he expected his licence would not be suspended, but had yet to be informed of the result.

Kris Cheng

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.