The Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) has requested that the police reveal their surveillance records relating to its convener Andy Chan. It came following a government move to ban the pro-independence party in the name of national security. On July 17, the authorities gave the party 21 days to respond.
The HKNP published a statement on Sunday listing five requests aimed at the Security Bureau and the police. The requests included the disclosure of surveillance records, internal notes, and audio and video recordings. Last week, the HKNP also asked for a time extension until October for it to make its case.
“After consulting with our lawyers, the HKNP has requested… that the Assistant Societies Officer provide, by close of play 30 July 2018, all records of surveillance and/or observation against Mr Chan Ho-tin,” the statement read.
Earlier this month, police informed Chan that the Security Bureau was considering banning HKNP under the Societies Ordinance. The security secretary said the ban was a recommendation from the Assistant Societies Officer – a statutory role filled by Assistant Police Commissioner Rebecca Lam. Lam wrote a letter explaining her recommendation and attached a 700-page dossier on HKNP as evidence.
Last week, Chan said it was “unfair” that he only had three weeks to respond to material that the police spent two years collecting.
HKNP’s requests on Sunday were directed at the specifics of the recommendation process.
It first asked the Security Bureau to confirm there was “no oral or other communication between any person within Security Bureau and the Assistant Societies Officer or her subordinates” – or failing that, to provide documents, notes, or memoranda about the communications.
HKNP then asked Lam to provide “all records of surveillance and/or observation,” “all audio recordings and video footage,” and “all materials, both used and unused, that she has considered during the preparation of her recommendation.”
The HKNP said its requests were sent last Friday, and set the deadline as the close of business on Monday.
A pro-Beijing group held a protest last Friday urging the government to arrest Chan. About 20 people from the group New Millenarian marched to the police headquarters in Wan Chai and handed over a petition letter.
New Millenarian Deputy Convener Amy Wong claimed that the HKNP was an unregistered illegal organisation, and it was reasonable for the Security Bureau to try to ban it. Wong said that Chan’s actions were treasonous and amounted to incitement of hatred against China, and asked the police to arrest him.