Hundreds of protesters attended a march on Sunday afternoon demanding that Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng step down.

The demonstration, organised by the Civil Human Rights Front, was themed “DQ Teresa Cheng” – a reference to the disqualification of pro-democracy and localist candidates from the upcoming Legislative Council by-elections. Cheng had earlier admitted to being personally involved in the decision to bar election hopefuls after being repeatedly grilled by lawmakers, but said that legal advice given to election officers was confidential.

Cheng, who took office last month, was also embroiled in controversy over illegal structures found at her and her husband’s properties at Villa De Mer in Tuen Mun.

sunday march
Civil Human Rights Front convenor Sammy Ip. Photo: PH Yang.

Demonstrators gathered at the Southorn Playground in Wanchai on Sunday afternoon, where they first observed a moment of silence for the victims of the Tai Po bus crash on Saturday. They then marched to the Department of Justice offices in Central.

Organisers said 1,000 attended the march, while the police put the figure at 700 at its peak.

sunday march
Photo: PH Yang.

Counter-protesters led by Defend Hong Kong Campaign’s Fu Chun-chung also gathered in Wan Chai and chanted slogans in support of Teresa Cheng.

Civil Human Rights Front convener Sammy Ip said that the attendance was acceptable, especially since it was near Lunar New Year. “Apart from her individual problems, she also disqualified pro-democracy candidates… I believe that with her being the justice secretary, Hong Kong people will not cease following up on upcoming issues concerning her or the political decisions she make.”

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.