Hong Kong’s High Court on Friday granted short-term bail to a former democratic leader detained on national security charges so that he can attend his father’s funeral, overruling objections from the prisons’ department.
National security law judge Esther Toh granted bail to Wu Chi-wai, the former chairman of the Democratic Party, on conditions which were not announced during the hearing on Friday morning, according to InMedia.
The Correctional Services Department (CSD) rejected Wu’s application on Wednesday, citing security risks after the date and time of the funeral was widely publicised on social media. Netizens said they would attend to pay respects and show support for the detained democrat.
The department had offered to arrange for Wu, 58, to attend the funeral via video stream.
“After a risk assessment, the CSD has decided to reject the application in order to protect the safety of correctional officers, the subject PIC [person in custody] and members of the public,” a department statement read.
The democrat’s 92-year-old father passed away last month. His funeral will be held on Friday evening at Diamond Hill.
Wu’s wife, in a post on his Facebook page on Thursday evening, thanked members of the public for their support but said the funeral would be restricted to family members and friends due to space restrictions.
Wu is one of the 47 democrats charged on February 28 with conspiracy to commit subversion under the national security law. He has been in custody since January, when his bail was revoked for breaching bail conditions in a separate case of unauthorised assembly last July 1, after a British National (Overseas) passport was found at his home.
The ex-lawmaker is also facing charges relating to chaotic scenes in the Legislative Council chamber last May.